‘Love thy neighbor’: Students chalk messages of support for Clovis business struck by hate crime

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CLOVIS, California (KSEE) – A group of Clovis children spread a message of love Wednesday after a black-owned business became the target of a hate crime over the weekend.

Police said Just My Essentials, in Old Town Clovis, was burglarized and marked with racist graffiti Saturday.

“When I found that out I was heartbroken. I just felt so bad and the first thing I asked was ‘How can I help?,'” Emma Hannen said.

She and sister Julia were two of about a dozen children who came together, hoping to send the owner a different message.

“There was the idea the kids came up with, that after kind of the stormy time, they wanted to have that rainbow, that hope, that brightness,” mother Kathy said.

The group met early in the morning to avoid crowds and traffic, not knowing if or when owner Chanel Wapner would see their work.

“I don’t know if she’s seen the chalk yet but I’m really excited for when she does and I hope it gives her a smile,” Emma said.

It turned out Wapner had, and it did the opposite. She said it brought her to tears.

“If I had clear shellac, I would shellac it so it would never leave. I wish it could stay there forever!,” she said.

And after receiving the messages written in chalk for her, Wapner said she has one in return.

“To all of you wonderful little people I absolutely adore you and I look forward to meeting all of you and I’m so proud of all of you,” she said.

Wapner said she plans on reopening in the coming weeks and wants all the young artists to be there.

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