NEW CANAAN - In these hard times, messages of hope are lining vacant stores in the shopping district of New Canaan.

Rob Mallazi says he didn't like looking at his empty storefront, so when members of the First Church of Christ Scientitsts asked if they could display their messages in his vacant storefront, he agreed. And now he is starting a trend.

"The feeling was it just doesn't look great when [commuters] are coming off the train and driving through town - and see so many vacant spots that are in the process of being rented," Mallazi says.

Mallazi says he has only received positive feedback about the signs. But they will come down once the space is leased.