Iowa Information rainbow

Iowa Information Publishers and Printers in Sheldon participates in the Rainbow Hunts for Kids.

REGIONAL—Kids across the world are going on rainbow hunts thanks to a Spencer woman.

Rachel Meyer launched what was then the Northwest Iowa Rainbow Hunt for Kids Facebook group on Thursday, March 19, as a way for her 8-year-old daughter, Margaret "Meg," to stay connected with her friends.

Meyer asked people to put a colorful display in their window, post it to the group using the #RainbowHuntsForKids so she and Meg could find them, thus creating a fun activity that also adheres to social distancing practices used to slow spread of the coronavirus.

“I’m originally from Oklahoma and so I saw a post from a friend — a neighborhood in Tulsa, a mom had asked all the neighbors to put a rainbow so her child could go on a rainbow hunt — and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of a cute idea,’” Meyer said.

“Then later in the day, my daughter was really missing her friends and I thought this was a way to connect with her friends so I made a group. I started out calling it Northwest Iowa Rainbow Hunt for Kids and I thought we could drive around find rainbows, she could wave at her friends; it’ll be great.”

Within a week of launching Meyer rebranded the group to Rainbow Hunts for Kids to reflect the wide range of places its more than 26,000 members are from. More than 15 counties and just about every state is represented.

“It has blown up,” Meyer said.

Meyer said the group is averaging about 1,000 new members every four hours and she added three more administrators, including her mother, Monnie Roney, to help her manage the digital collective.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh, you know, maybe we’ll get about 25 families since she’s friends with their kids and it’ll be great,” Meyer said.

Meyer has a theory on why the group has been a runaway success.

“People are just looking for something that’s not just sitting there watching the news going when is it going to get here, who’s going to get it,” she said. “There’s no anxiety to it; there’s no pressure. You do your art project, you put it in your window and it is what it is. People like that right now.”

In Sheldon, people can find rainbows downtown at the Iowa Information office and Sweet Puddle Jumper’s Boutique. There also are rainbows at Fieldcrest Assisted Living, Los Panchos Mexican Restaurant, Taco John’s and dozens of private residences.

What’s most refreshing for Meyer and members is how relaxed the group is.

“We’ve had no drama, no hurt feelings; everyone seems to be enjoying it and having a good time and that’s really the point,” she said. “A little connection when we can’t have contact.”

Meyer also says the more the merrier.

“Please join us and have a good time with it,” she said.