CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A couple from Connecticut is handing out messages of love on their vacation to Charlottesville.

Eileen Byrnes and her husband are distributing ‘hearts of hope’ around the Downtown Mall.

The Newtown, Connecticut native got involved in the project after the Sandy Hook shooting.

Hearts of Hope is a nationwide organization that aims to bring joy to cities that have suffered a tragedy.

Charlottesville has been in the national spotlight following violent rallies in August, one which resulted in the death of a Charlottesvillle resident, Heather Heyer

Byrnes laid hearts on cars, businesses’ doors, around the mall, and passed them out to people in the streets.

The home-made ceramic hearts are inside a small maroon bag with a note of encouragement.

"We were here visiting family, and so I asked the hearts of hope people if I could come and distribute some hearts, because I thought it's a beautiful message that can be given to a town that's in need of a little comforting, and coming from Sandy Hook, we understand what that is,” said Byrnes. 

Byrnes encourages anyone who sees the small bags to take one.