I, like many, have family and friends in healthcare and the stories I hear about exhaustion, mask acne, fear of COVID - let alone mental health, coupled with the idea that our healthcare workers were asked not to identify themselves during the convey made my heart break on a whole other level.
I took my sadness and compassion and decided to leverage my community and connections to collect 3600 thank you cards for ALL staff at NYG (https://www.nygh.on.ca/about-us/overview/statistics-and-area-served) and the fun began!
Our collections are as follows:
• 615 cards from community members including the 226th Toronto Girl Guides, Mary Lynn, Emma H., Phyllis P, Bessie and Chris, Nicolas and Gwen, Mary J., Dar S. Marlene C. Maria C., Steve B., Susanne C., Julia, Jena, Toma, Nancy, Emily, Ayesha, Maria, Chris and Emily, Jema, Annie, Gloria S, David C., Hayley, David C., Diya, Heroes of Hope, Mary, Molly and Dimitra
• 1,240 from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Willowdale where some students handmade over 150 cards each!
• 401 from Marshall McLuhan Catholic High School
• 283 from three elementary Catholic schools (Blessed Trinity, St. Edwards, and St Gabriel's)
• 800 from six public elementary schools (Yorkview, Mc Kee, Churchill + their after school program, Cameron PS, Glenpark PS and Hollywood)
• 301 from Yorkview Kids Care and Yonge Heart Daycares
The 3,640 cards are all collected and sorted into seven clear bins (donated by Willowdale Central Ratepayers Associations) with quantity on each bin. My hopes is that NYG sanitizes as needed and then place a bin in seven areas of the hospital so that ALL staff can help themselves.
I also had a ton of help from high school students Emma B. and her classmates Jenna and Molly who inscribed almost 2000 school names on individual cards, as well as a few friends/neighbours who did the same.
The North York General reporter is interested in this story and I also reached out to the two school board's media. The TCDSB wants to promote this once we have a delivery date. It has been a very exciting and rewarding initiative and I do hope deep in my heart that other communities can do something similar!