Sidewalks are chalk-full of happiness outside Indianapolis hospitals

Chalk art outside Riley Hospital for Children is offering encouragement for people going inside. (Riley Hospital for Children)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Chalk art is appearing all over the place. It's in our neighborhoods, outside police departments and in front of fire stations. It's also paving the way to local hospitals.

The messages are short, but they're going a long way for the people on the front lines of this pandemic at Riley Hospital for Children. The messages say things such as "not all superheroes have to wear capes" and "there is always a rainbow at the end of the storm."

"We are trying our best as a hospital and as a child life team to just try to keep the morale up," said Riley Hospital for Children Child Life Specialist Heather Troyer. "Try to let everybody know how much they are appreciated. You just see how much the staff is just worn out. They're tired. They're exhausted. They're scared as well."

To ease emotions, Troyer and a dozen others sprinkled the sidewalks with some sunshine.

"It's just something that we could do to try to brighten them up," Troyer said.

The motivational messages popped up outside of Riley first but have since showed up at other IU Health hospitals such as Methodist, North and West.

"Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more, but I have to just do whatever I can and right now my main goal is just to try to keep the staff pumped up," Troyer said.

Troyer said they don't plan to stop doing stuff like this anytime soon. They've also been painting pictures in the windows, leaving candy out and putting decorations up around Riley.