ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Hospitals across the nation are staying busy as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.
That is why a local nonprofit called Impact Ardmore spent most of Tuesday morning creating sidewalk art around the Mercy Hospital campus to show their appreciation to the staff and deliver a message of hope.
Misty Apala is the executive director for Impact Ardmore and said its motto of love, go and serve takes volunteers all over the city, doing things they hope will inspire change and happiness.
"We just want to put a little light in their lives and create some smiles," Apala said. "And sometimes, something as simple as chalk art can make that happen. The people here at Mercy are working during a time that has a lot of questions, can seem a little dark. Hope is contagious and we are just trying to create some smiles on the faces of people that are in the battlefield."
11-year-old Brylee Watkins was one of about a dozen volunteers and worked on a tie-dye-inspired drawing.
"Drawing can help you whenever you are going through some times and will help you express your feelings," Watkins said. "I hope that it will encourage other people to do it too."
Christi Whiten is a teacher at Dickson Schools who helped with the art as well.
"It's been a blast and thinking of inspirational things to thank the nurses and staff here at Mercy that are working so hard to keep people healthy," Whiten said.
Hospital staff, like Beth Hopkins, who came to view the art said they were amazed.
Some said they had not seen anything like it at Mercy for at least 20 years.
"I didn't even know it was going on out here. It's really incredible," Hopkins said. "It was really touching to know our community is here and supporting us."
Impact Ardmore said it is aiming to reach out to first responders and other essential workers to show the same gratitude.
If you are interested in volunteering with Impact Ardmore, you can find a its Facebook page here .