Hermosa Beach’s Juergen and Hanni Schmieder believed there was too much negativity on social media and “people going at each other’s throats” so they felt they “needed to do something to help each other.”
With the beaches closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, they felt “since people cannot go to their beloved beach, why not have a little beach with you?”
So they had the idea of creating ornaments made partly out of shells and sand from the beach in Hermosa. They started with around 15 ornaments to distribute to friends but now they have given out more than 100 to those interested in a little gift from the beach. Those interested can come by their apartment where they will lower down the ornament to the visitor and maybe start a conversation.
“One nurse came directly from a shift at the hospital and she said, ‘I'm so stressed out and I work on the front lines. I was treating a coronavirus patient,” said Juergen, who is a journalist.
Juergen added, “It almost brought us to tears because we were, Okay, it's just a cheesy idea or something stupid that we try to do and now people seem to be happy.”
Hanni, an artist and photographer, said they have been home with their 10-year-old son Finn and as “very social” people it has been a challenge. She thought it was a “kind of crazy” idea to post the ornaments on Hermosa Beach Forum at first, but meeting strangers has been fun.
“So nice to see all those faces, who go at each other on the internet,” Hanni said. “But once you see them all in person, everyone's so sweet, and everyone's so excited.”
Hanni added, “We had an older couple who said they don't really know where to go and what to do. So that was their adventure for the day.”
Anyone interested in receiving and ornament, can contact Juergen through the Hermosa Beach Forum on Facebook. The ornament is disinfected before it is lowered from their balcony.