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Stockton woman creates custom signs to offer hope to small businesses on Miracle Mile

Stockton's Miracle Mile is a lot quieter because of the coronavirus pandemic. But Melissa Whittock and her custom signs hope to change all that.

STOCKTON, Calif. — The Miracle Mile in Stockton is a famous strip where various restaurants and small businesses offer residents a unique experience. But ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit, things have been much quieter on Pacific Avenue.

And that is why one Stockton resident decided to brighten things up on the strip.

Melissa Whittock is a former elementary teacher turned graphic designer. Once the spread of the coronavirus shut businesses down along the mile, she decided to give back. She created free personalized signs for businesses in this district.

“It was very depressing and emotional to drive down Miracle Mile and see all the businesses shut down," said Whittock. "So, as we started getting closer to reopening, I thought, ‘I need to brighten up this mile’ and I would be the one to love to do it. And there started my project,” Whittock said.

Whittock knows firsthand how to create signs. She owns "Chalked by Melissa," a company that specializes in doing just that. She says that giving back gives her a sense of fulfillment.

“I’ve gotten more out of it than I ever wished for. A lot of merchants have become friends," Whittock explained. "To see their passion and getting through the adversity of being closed down, and the depressing time of are we open are we closed, it’s really inspiring and it gave me a lot of hope."

Whittock has already made more than a dozen signs for businesses along the mile. She says her goal is to create free signs for all 200 merchants in the district, in the hopes of bringing some cheer to them.

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