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Homeless Christchurch Man Spreads A Message Of Peace

Shay Kenny is giving everything he can to spread love following the terror attack on his home town of Christchurch.

“I’m homeless, I didn’t have an income so I can’t really afford to go out and buy people food or anything,” Shay says.

But he was so struck by last Friday’s tragedy that he felt he had to do something to help. So since then, he’s been spending eight hours a day standing just metres from where police guard the Linwood mosque crime scene, delivering a message to passing traffic.

“We are all the same on the inside,” reads his hand-written sign in bold capital letters. Beneath it, he’s added “Give us a honk”.

The cardboard was donated by a nearby shop, after an earlier paper sign was ripped by the wind.

Shay says that every honk is a nice loud message of support for victims and their families. And he’s trying to spread another sign as well: the peace sign, which he’s flashing regularly.

Shay flashes a peace sign to passing traffic
Shay flashes a peace sign to passing traffic
“That needs to go around the world. That’s what we need: peace. And a lot of honks!” he grins.

It’s not a lot to ask of people. And as well as their horns, motorists are offering up plenty of peace signs in reply.

A truckie offers Shay a peace sign in return
A truckie offers Shay a peace sign in return

Shay’s also been getting gratitude for spreading a positive message in such dark times.

“The most touching thing is a Muslim lady come up to me with a pink rose and gave it to me and gave me a hug, and said we need more people like you.

“So that was pretty hearty… I feel for her. It brought tears to my eyes, it was the first time that really hit home.”

Shay intends to dry out the rose to keep it. And keep reiterating that simple message of inclusiveness.

“We’re all human, we all bleed the same, we all breathe the same.”