We had several key objectives to our project. Our primary goal was to highlight healthcare and hospital workers who don’t normally receive recognition for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. These unsung heroes who work in both hospitals and community health centres are not only doctors and nurses behind frontlines, but custodial staff, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and office administrators. These individuals work tirelessly in patient-care and some even perform COVID-19 testing in the community and conduct contact tracing as well.
Our second goal was to demonstrate to school-age children how simple it is to engage community and show leadership. My youngest daughter was inspired by news stories and decided to write a book about saving society from COVID-19. This grant gave us the opportunity to put her thoughts into action and perhaps inspire others. To view the book, visit: https://www.storyjumper.com/book/read/81744285/Saving-Society-from-COVID-19.
The most challenging aspect of the project was connecting with a specific hospital administrator who would find the information I needed to coordinate the purchase and delivery of care packages. To solve this, I stayed in communication with hospital administrators from the earlier stages of my search. Eventually, they were able to reach out to another internal employee who was able to help me.
Another challenge we faced was that we needed to collect more artwork. To solve this, we partnered with my daughters elementary school where the school administrators were able to connect with all the teachers in the school to work on art with their students. They were also able to share information about our project to all the families in the school through the weekly school newsletter. In the end, we collected 50 submissions of art from their friends and students. The artwork is now posted on the Gratitude Wall located in the main lobby at Richmond Hospital.
Overall, we achieved what we were set out to do, and more! After learning about even more groups of hospital staff who often go unrecognized, we increased our care package distribution numbers from 72 to 124! I reviewed our projected expenses and was able to cut spending in some areas to be able to purchase more supplies.
The most memorable moment of the project was delivering the care packages. The overall experience provided a valuable experiential learning opportunity of how a simple gesture showing gratitude and appreciation can go a long way in building community. This project not only allowed us to touch the lives of established professionals, but young children as well. Our story which was covered by Richmond News can be found here: https://www.richmond-news.com/local-news/kudos-richmond-sisters-donate-care-packages-to-unsung-heroes-3124583.