HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every morning, Patti and Fred Fisk put on their yellow vests and set up their dry erase board that’s covered with cartoon drawings.
The retired couple station themselves at the top of the driveway that leads to the First Southern Baptist Church and sits right next to the entrance of Aliamanu Elementary School.
They greet every child who passes with a smile and an encouraging word. They know many of the kids by name.
“If we can help just one child have a better day, it’s well worth it,” Patti said.
She’s responsible for the positive messages that go along with Fred’s colorful cartoons.
"I used to do one a day then I would erase it. It would break my heart every night to erase it. So then we came up with the collage idea," he said.
It starts with one character on Monday and by Friday the board is filled.
Fred was surprised to learn many of the children didn’t know the characters he was drawing.
"You don't know Peanuts? How do you not know Peanuts?" he laughed.
So he started taking requests. The cartoons surround a positive saying that Patti posts.
The couple started doing this last year. Rain or shine you can count on them being there.
"It's such a ray and sunshine of hope coming up the hill. It's just such an encouragement every morning," parent Hannah Wirth said.
The art board also serves as a countdown clock for the kids. Patti writes how many weeks are left in the school year and how many days.
The Fisks also direct traffic and help the students cross the street. Some thank them with hugs.
“I do miss my family on the mainland,” Fred said. “Sometimes a hug from a little 3-year-old makes up for the fact that my grandbaby is in Northern California.”
Patti stands out with her hair dyed purple.
“Every day there’s something different. Her hair is a different color. It’s beautiful. She’s beautiful,” parent Kelli Zabka said.
The color is how Patti shows the world she survived cancer, so every day is a good day.
“I tell people you tell your family and friends how much you love them every day because nobody is promised tomorrow,” she said.
Fred worked in the airline industry while Patti raised their sons. They have one grandchild. The cartooning started back home in Texas when they decorate their fence with comic art.
“Every house in Houston’s got a 6-foot wooden fence. So years ago we decided to break up the monotony,” he said.
The Fisks came to Oahu to do volunteer work at the First Southern Baptist Church, where they also serve as greeters for their church preschool.