Local businesses are inspired to show appreciation.
“Healthcare workers are the true heroes here!” has been a phrase repeated many times during the pandemic. Especially in our hospitals that have, at times, been pushed to their limits, the doctors, nurses and support staff have courageously continued treating and caring for those in their care. It is no secret that the stress of mounting caseloads and countless overtime hours have taken a physical and psychological toll on healthcare professionals.
Carla Cline, owner of Flagler Surf Art and Stuff, was inspired to do something positive to let the hospital staff of AdventHealth Palm Coast know that the community appreciates them and cares. No stranger in town or to raising money for good causes, Cline devised a plan to create $20.00 gift cards to local restaurants to give to AdventHealth employees. She was not fazed when she asked John Subers, the hospital’s foundation director, how many employees they had and he said, “One thousand.”. Cline set a goal to collect and deliver 1,000 cards, spendable at participating businesses, along with a kind and supportive note from each donor.
Dr. Ron Jimenez, CEO, AdvenHealth Palm Coast said, “Community support has been absolutely vital to our caregivers as they’ve worked through the extreme stresses of the pandemic. We’re extremely grateful for these kind gestures, whether it’s gift cards, food or community members driving to our hospitals in a show of support. It’s helped us keep going knowing that our neighbors care for us, as we care for them.”
Once the message spread in the community, the effort-built momentum and participating businesses offered matching donations and held contests and others, like Si Como No Inn, wanted to join. Owner Marti Leavines is a retired respiratory therapist herself. Manager Monique Futch said, “Marti could relate and…. there are no words….no words for how we all felt. We wanted to do something to acknowledge them and let them know that we care. Nurses ROCK!”