It started as a summer camp lesson about giving back. It ended with thank-you cards in the hands of Tidelands Health caregivers needing a boost.
The Georgetown County Family YMCA added a project to its summer camp this week making cards for the doctors, nurses and other caregivers at Tidelands Health to show appreciation for their dedication in serving the community amid COVID-19.
“You guys were obviously at the forefronts of our minds. I know you guys have been working tirelessly,” said Kim Tomlinson, youth development director at Georgetown County Family YMCA. “We are teaching the kids to give back, and we wanted to thank the doctors and nurses for everything they’ve been doing. And the kids really enjoyed doing it.”
The result? More than 50 cards made by camp kids ages 5 to 12 lifting the spirits of Tidelands Health front-line workers.
Camp staff produced a variety of basic cards, then the kids added their special touches. Some of the cards started with coloring-book outlines of medical professionals under the words, “Not all heroes wear capes.” Others say, “You are a true hero – Thank you for working hard to care for so many. I am grateful for all you do.”
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Working from those templates, the camp children added the colors, drew images of hearts, flowers and smiley faces and scribbled their own words in crayons or markers meant for the medical workers such as “Thank you for fighting the coronavirus!” and “thanks for fighting hard and helping everyone.” Many kids – in their precious handwriting – also signed the cards with their name and age.
Sweet gestures like this are needed now more than ever. The pandemic has powered into its sixth month locally, and Tidelands Health hospitals are seeing the most COVID-19 patients on any given day since the pandemic began. ICUs and emergency departments are full and overcapacity.
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Facing staffing strains, team members are working longer days and taking on additional shifts to provide the in-depth care these patients require – all while dealing with the emotional toll of caring for so many who are severely ill and others who don’t survive the relentless virus. And no one knows when the number of hospitalizations might ease.
“These incredibly sweet cards made by the thoughtful youngsters at the Georgetown County Family YMCA summer camps lift the tired spirits of our dedicated team members in ways we simply can’t describe,” said Pam Maxwell, chief nursing officer. “The cards brighten a tough day for our team – bringing out a needed smile or prompting a few happy tears as it reminds them that people – even children – recognize and appreciate their efforts to serve our patients and community.
“Any gesture – these cards, a simple thank you, a donation of a meal – lets our front-line professionals know their sacrifices are appreciated and that they have the support of our community. It means so much at this challenging time.”
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