A little girl is using chalk to uplift patients at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.
Stroke by stroke, Aliana Fichera spent Tuesday morning chalking the walkway outside the medical center. With help from some “mini artists,” the nearly 12-year-old is spreading joy.
"I don't want people to feel alone and let them know there's other people out there like them,” Aliana, the organizer for Chalk the Walks, said.
The sidewalk gala is part of an international event called Chalk the Walks, created by the nonprofit Joy Team, in which children pick a color chalk and get to work drawing and writing inspirational messages.
"It's for kids who can't come out of the hospital and they can look out the window, look down, and read it and feel happy,” Aliana said.
Aliana is a patient too and has common variable immunodeficiency or CVID. She has been going to the medical center for the past three years, visiting at least once a month.
“I can't fight off a cold, which could turn into pneumonia, and get very sick,” Aliana said.
When Chalk the Walks first began five years ago, just over 300 people participated. Today, 37,000 people nationwide are sharing joy and hope through their chalk messages.
This is the second year Aliana and friends have scribbled bright messages for children to see because each stroke on this concrete canvas is a worth a smile.
"There might be a dark point in your life, but it will get better,” Aliana said.
This year, she raised nearly $2,500, which will go to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Joy Team organization.