On Monday morning, the young patients at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh woke up to a pretty great surprise: Superman, Batman, Captain America and Spiderman were all hanging outside the hospital's windows.
And they were there to keep those windows clean.
In fact, the four superheroes were costumed window washers from Allegheny Window Cleaning Inc., the company that organized the stunt.
Allegheny's office manager Michelle Matuizek first suggested the costume idea to company president Edward Matuizek - who also happens to be her husband.
He wasn't a fan of the idea at first, but Children's Hospital facilities director Elizabeth Munsch helped convince him it was a winner, and Allegheny lined up $800 worth of high quality hero costumes to make it happen.
Check out this video about the stunt from the TribLIVE website:
Edward said he and the window washers wanted to brighten the day for children facing serious illnesses.
"This isn't about us. This is about them," said Edward, who has two teenage daughters. "It's a nice place to work, but emotionally it's a real tough place to work. You go home and pick your own kids up, and there's a lot of gratitude there."
The response from the kids was immediate.
"We heard people yelling: 'It's Spider-Man!' When the other ones appeared, it was just kind of amazing," said Joe Hartnett, who was present along with his daughter Leah, 6, and her younger brother.
"The kids were loving it," said Mark Errico, 26, the washer who suited up as Captain America. "Everywhere we went, they were coming in from different rooms."
The Pittsburgh event isn't the only time superhero window washers have gotten together to surprise patients at a children's hospital.
Just last week on October 17th, the kids at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee spotted Spider-Man and Captain America washing the windows.
This time the company behind the appearance was American National Skyline, with Steve Oszaniec, his son Danny and Jordan Emerson getting into the suits. Jordan and Danny both dressed as Spider-Men, while Steve threw on the Captain's costume.
And in London, England, window washers at Evelina Children's Hospital at St. Thomas' Hospital have a special clause in their contract that actually requires them to dress up as superheroes while washing the windows.
So once a week, kids there see Superman, Spiderman and Batman hanging out and keeping the windows clean.
The Evelina Children's Hospital was built with a specific goal: creating an environment for sick kids that wouldn't feel like a hospital. According to the architecture firm behind the hospital, it was "designed to be engaging, fun and exciting for children."
That thinking obviously didn't stop with the building itself. Getting the window washers to dress up like superheroes is a great touch.
In fact, Evelina's idea is what inspired the washers in Pittsburgh. This is the kind of heroism the world can use.