After the riots, drawings to warm the hearts of Versailles merchants

After the riots, drawings to warm the hearts of Versailles merchants

“We went to make drawings for the merchants because they are sad!” Malcy, 10, and her brother Max, 5, tell in their childhood words how they spent their family Sunday in a very special way.

In Versailles as elsewhere, the windows of certain pharmacies, bakeries, supermarkets or even the post office are in pieces, ransacked by thugs, and the goods looted. But amidst the ashes sometimes spring flowers. One of them is the initiative of the parish of Sainte-Bernadette, in the district of Jussieu: to decorate the wooden fronts of the gutted shops with children’s drawings to give a little joy to the traders concerned.

First to suffer from this unprecedented violence, they see for some the work of a life reduced to nothing. The atmosphere is therefore heavy, the weeks to come are going to be difficult. “I drew hamburgers and coca cola for the gentleman at the Kebab” proudly tells Max. Her big sister adds: “We drew a lot of hearts for everyone!” she exclaims, while explaining that a “lady from her parish” offered them to make drawings to support the merchants of the district.

Swap bedtime for a drawing session

Quickly, the message sent on Sunday morning on a What’sApp messaging group, providentially called “The Happy Families”, convinces the recipients. Ten or twelve families get together in the afternoon and in the twinkling of an eye, the pencils wander briskly through the young hands and color the sheets. Once finished, the drawings are taped to the facades under the astonished eyes of passers-by. And traders are waiting for Monday… “It’s really not much, but it’s important,” says Anouk, Malcy and Max’s mother.

Mission accomplished: the “small gesture” touches the hearts of the recipients. “The baker had tears in her eyes,” testifies Agnès, another mother from the parish, who left to glue the works of her daughters Albane and Bérénice on Monday evening, for lack of being able to participate in the Sunday meeting. Because both insisted the night before to swap the usual bedtime story for a drawing session for the traders. “It’s thanks to them that the neighborhood lives, it’s worth making a little time for them despite our busy schedules,” she says. For her as for Anouk, the object is a universal message: to restore beauty and remind that life is first built in solidarity and peace. In this vibrant little parish, believers hope the momentum will continue. Provided that in the soul of traders, the gesture burns… like a bonfire.

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