KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People in Kansas City only has a few more hours to enjoy the 150+ heart art installations scattered throughout the metro as part of the Parade of Hearts campaign.

The structures will start to be removed June 11 so they can be auctioned off online, with some being auctioned in person, by June 17.

The hearts have captured the attention of residents and visitors for weeks and Parade of Hearts Co-Director Jenn Nussbeck said they’ve love to keep them up longer, but they have another important mission to serve after they’re removed from public view.

“There is a greater need and that is getting that funding to those that are barely hanging on,” Nussbeck said.

The Parade of Hearts campaign was determined to help people and organizations impacted by the COVID pandemic.

“Looking at who was really being severely impacted and maybe even being overlooked whether that be from financial local support or even federal government support,” Nussbeck said.

That’s how Parade of Hearts picked the five groups that would benefit from the campaign: The University of Kansas Health System, Mid-America Regional Council, Visit KC Foundation, AltCap, and the artists who created the hearts in the first place.

Since the artists already got their stipends to create the hearts, the money raised through the auction will be split among the remaining four organizations.

AltCap gives out small loans to small businesses who might struggle for any of a variety of reasons to get traditional loans from larger banks and financial institutions. By giving out smaller amounts, AltCap can help small businesses be created, stay afloat, or expand in a way that might not otherwise be possible.

“A lot of times, they’ll be the only business…in the community so if they were to go out of business, that creates a huge void in the community,” said AltCap CEO Ruben Alonso.

One success story is Ruby Jeans Kitchen and Juicery along Troost, lending them $25,000 a few years ago for supplies. Those kinds of loans could potentially be the difference between staying afloat and not.

The money AltCap will get from the auction will allow it to create a program that not only makes loans to small businesses but also provide training and business guidance so they can run their business more effectively.

You can bid on the hearts here.

Parade of Hearts said we could be learning soon if there will be a second version of the effort and what that might look like.