WACO, Texas — The "Bridge of Souls" project started as an idea back in late June, and now it's coming to life. It consists of 600 banners with silhouettes dedicated to those that have died from COVID-19.
The banners will make their way downtown in the coming weeks, but for now, the project is still looking for some assistance.
Each banner represents someone lost to COVID-19 in McLennan County. That number reached 602 deaths on Friday.
Several local artists and family members who have lost loved ones to the virus have already picked up banners to paint, but there are plenty left that will need to be finished. The "Bridge of Souls" project is asking for more to come and pick up banners this weekend.
"You do not have to be a certain kind of artist," said Carolina Huerta, project manager for Bridge of Souls. "We welcome anyone who has a good intention to help us."
Whether it's a family member honoring a loved one, or a local artist like Al "Bato" Landoll just looking to pay tribute, all are welcome to help.
"Losing a life sucks from one end of the universe to the other. You know, to be able to help honor somebody in that way, yeah, it's pretty cool," Landoll said.
Landoll is working on completing ten of the banners himself.
Volunteers said seeing 600 silhouettes puts the county's loss into perspective.
"To see those in a pile...and in my mind, I'm thinking, that's that many stories that aren't gonna get told to our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren," said project volunteer Brandy Abel.
The project hopes to show that each victim of COVID-19 is more than just a statistic.
Bridge of Souls is a partnership between Cultural Arts of Waco, Creative Waco, The City of Waco, McLennan County, the Cooper Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
To help with the project, you can visit The Yellow House at 402 Tyler St. in Waco this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can take the banners home to complete them or work in the workshop space available at the house, complete with painting supplies.
To find more information, visit Cultural Arts of Waco on Instagram.