Volunteers chalk messages of gratitude outside hospital

March 24, 2020
UCHealth volunteers chalk the walk outside of UCH.
Volunteers from UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital sent messages of goodwill and support to employees who are caring for the sick during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos by Jenny Ricklefs, UCHealth.

UCHealth volunteers chalk the walk outside of UCH.While volunteers cannot share their talents in hospitals now, many tapped their artistic skills on Tuesday to send messages of gratitude to medical providers and other employees who are tending to the sick and keeping hospitals clean and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using chalk, volunteers drew pictures on sidewalks of sunshine, rainbows, hearts and flowers along with messages of thanks to honor all the people who are caring for people at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

“Thank you for the work that you do. You rock!” one message read.

“We wanted to let staff know that we appreciate their work and we appreciate how hard they are working,’’ said Jenny Ricklefs, manager of volunteer services at University of Colorado Hospital.

The nine volunteers-turned-artists wore gloves because they shared chalk. They practiced physical distancing by keep 6 feet apart from one another. And they had a wonderful time.

“We’re truly honored to show our support for the people who are caring for patients,’’ Ricklefs said. “What they are doing has not gone unnoticed.’’

UCHealth volunteers chalk the walk outside of UCH.

About the author

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon is a proud Colorado native. She attended Colorado College, thanks to a merit scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation, and worked as a park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park during summer breaks from college. She is also a storyteller. She loves getting to know UCHealth patients and providers and sharing their inspiring stories.

Katie spent years working as a journalist at the Rocky Mountain News and was a finalist with a team of reporters for the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of a deadly wildfire in Glenwood Springs in 1994. Katie was the first reporter in the U.S. to track down and interview survivors of the tragic blaze, which left 14 firefighters dead.

She covered an array of beats over the years, including the environment, politics, education and criminal justice. She also loved covering stories in Congress and at the U.S. Supreme Court during a stint as the Rocky’s reporter in Washington, D.C.

Katie then worked as a reporter for an online health news site before joining the UCHealth team in 2017.

Katie and her husband Cyrus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, have three children. The family loves traveling together anywhere from Glacier National Park to Cuba.