Campbell Riverites have a new way to send their appreciation to the healthcare and hospital workers who are on the front lines.
The Campbell River Hospital Foundation will be forwarding any messages through their connections at the local hospital to ensure well wishes get to staff who are working in the facility. While it is not advisable or possible to send physical gifts or come directly to the hospital to show support, the foundation has offered to ensure any and all messages directed to hospital staff are sent.
“I think the big thing is for medical staff to know that people are thinking of them. One thing that we’re happy to do and people are more than welcome to do is that if they would like to post a thank you or a message on our Facebook, we can ensure that the hospital staff sees that. There’s an internal Facebook that we can share it on,” said foundation executive director Stacey Marsh. “If people don’t have social media, they can send us a message at our email address. We’re more than happy to ensure that it gets to staff.”
Hospital staff are not just limited to doctors and nurses. Other frontline staff include maintenance and janitorial workers, administrators, and many other professionals who do their work in the hospitals and care homes.
“It’s difficult not being there, but it’s nice being able to express our appreciation. You say thank you so often, and you kind of forget how powerful that can be. We’ve been saying it a lot, and hoping that they really get it,” Marsh said.
While Island Health has requested that physical gifts and tokens of appreciation not be delivered to hospitals, people have been finding other ways to show their appreciation for the workers on the front lines. Expressions of thanks have been popping up across the province on social media, which has inspired locals to do the same. Campbell River Storm coaches posted a call to bang on pots and pans at 7 p.m. to let workers know that the community was rallied behind them. Earlier, the Mirror published a story about a family who has been leaving chalk messages at facilities including North Island Hospital to show support.
Medical staff are seeing the messages, according to Marsh.
“We’ve seen the difference it makes,” she said. “The story of the young kids that did the sidewalk chalk thank you along Birch Street, that brought staff to tears. We know that just the smallest things make the difference.”
The Hospital Foundation has been looking towards the future as well. They recognize that when the crisis is over, the hospitals will still need the support of the community, perhaps even more so than usual. The foundation has put out a call for financial and equipment support for the hospital workers. Donations to the foundation will be used to support medical staff in the current crisis, and will continue to go towards new equipment and resources for the hospital after the crisis ends.
“We know that at the end of this there is going to be just as much need if not more to support our hospitals given that funding from the provincial and federal governments is being used during this crisis,” Marsh said. “They’re going to need us more than ever after this is over. Even though it feels odd to be doing something like a fundraiser, we have to keep trying to do normal stuff too.”