Indy woman turns hopelessness into action with signs of gratitude


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – White yard signs with the words “more than essential” written in blue have made their way into the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood by the hundreds.

“Honestly, if you go up Central Ave. from 38th Street, you will see them everywhere,” said Chelsea Marburger, executive director of the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association.

What started as one woman’s idea a few weeks ago has now turned into the You Are More Than Essential campaign in which residents and local businesses have come together to show appreciation for essential workers.

“I felt helpless. Just sitting at home while these essential workers put themselves out there risking their life to help keep daily life running,” said Meridian-Kessler resident and campaign mastermind Sara Fleury.

As a data analyst with no creative background, Fleury first turned to Google for design help. She then came up with a few catchphrases and put out a vote on social media.

Marburger says she noticed the post on the neighborhood’s Facebook page and knew she wanted to help.

“I have a design background and I have relationships with printing businesses to actually get these signs out into the community,” said Marburger.

The signs cost $5 including curbside delivery, but additional donations can be made to deliver hot meals to area hospitals from local eatery Soupremacy.

Both Marburger and Fleury say the response from essential workers has been amazing to see.

“Doctors and nurses on the frontlines, but also truck drivers and city employees that are still hard at work,” Fleury added.

While the You Are More Than Essential campaign started in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood, Marburger says these signs are for everyone.

“We have people in Castleton area, down in Southport area ordering them. What’s happening in our communities is not unique to MK and we want people from all over the city to know they can buy them,” said Marburger.

Marburger also says that in the last week since the project started, more than 120 signs have been sold with an additional $500 worth of meal donations.

“I just want them to know, they are appreciated,” said Fleury.