Waunakee woman brings joy to thousands with chalkboard message of the day

WAUNAKEE, Wis. — People have found many creative ways to bring joy to others during the pandemic. Deb Nies, a Waunakee resident for more than two decades, took a simple concept and did just that.

For the first time, Nies said she is getting to know her community better than she ever has through a simple chalkboard she put up outside of her home along Main Street.

“Living on Main Street in Waunakee, we have a ton of walkers. We have 30,000 cars going by a day,” Nies said.

Every day, Nies gets up and puts a new message of the day on the chalkboard outside of her home for thousands of passerbys to see.

“I watch them slow down to read the sign and they’re laughing,” Nies said. “That makes me smile and laugh.”

Nies got the idea from a viral post she saw online.

“It was this positive sign I saw on Facebook that had gone viral. It got to my feed and I was like, ‘Hey, I could do that very easily!”

Nies said she loves that such a simple concept can bring so much joy to herself and others

“I think it brings a little light, a little levity, a little joy,” she said.

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Although the message on the chalkboard changes daily, her overall message remains the same.

“I want people to find joy when it’s so hard to find it in times like we are going through right now. Know that you can affect somebody’s life in a way you might not have even thought of.”

Nies posts photos of her messages daily on her Facebook page so others who live outside of Waunakee can enjoy it too.