Butterflies for the Heroes
Sandy Gerrettie was having a sad day. She was missing those close to her who had passed: Her dog, her dad, and her police-officer husband, Joe, who died in 2013 after suffering injuries from his work in 2009. But on that day, she and her son, David, discovered Butterfly Effect. She immediately thought of her husband and the work she does in his honor, the Joseph L. Gerrettie Blue Line Heroes Foundation. “I thought, ‘Wow, that would be amazing because Joe was all about making a difference,” Sandy said.
When Sandy and David learned they’d won, they immediately connected with their friend and Joliet’s mayor, Bob O’Dekirk, who gave them his full support.
She found the perfect spot in Bicentennial Park by the river, rounded up volunteers and, despite the challenge of whipping winds and extreme weather, plus limited time (Sandy takes care of her 95-year-old mother, as well), went to work.
“We got the stencils up and got them spray painted, and then on the third day we started painting and it rained for eight days straight. We painted in the rain, it was cold, it was ugly, it was miserable.”
At the end of 10 days, they’d installed two glorious butterflies, one for the foundation and the other for the city.
The Butterfly Effect in Action
The idea behind Butterfly Effect is to create a chain of kindness—one good act can set off an untold number of others, even if it’s simply touching someone’s heart for a moment. That’s exactly what happened with the Foundation’s Butterfly even before the crew finished painting it. A blues harmonica player from Sweden just happened to be visiting Joliet. “He stopped at the park and the park director walked him around to the back to show him what we were doing, and his whole body was covered in goose bumps. … he stood silent and started to cry and the park director asked what was wrong. And, he said, ‘My son passed away recently and he loved butterflies and I know he’s here with me right now.’”
Sandy is confident that the butterflies will continue to do good for the community. “We can bring some peace and healing to the people here in town because we need it. We really do. This is … the whole country is in a volatile situation. And, any kind of peace or healing, calm, hope, any kind of compassion or love or courage or anything, faith, anything that we can bring to our town is what we want to do. And, I think we accomplished that, I really do.”
Get involved! Learn how to bring a Butterfly to your community to help a cause near to your heart.
#ButterflyEffect #BeTheChange #Wahl2Wahl
There was an article posted in The Herald News that shares more about our Wahl2Wall Install, honoring Joe, you can read it here: News Article
Peace love and always JOY!