GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For so many, COVID-19 has become a private battle waged behind the walls of hospitals.
By the patient, whose breath can be taken away in a heartbeat by the puzzling progression of COVID-19.
To the health care workers who are not only tasked with helping save lives but are often the only calming voice for a frightened patient and the loved ones the virus has kept at a distance.
“They are overwhelmed. They’re determined. They’re compassionate. And they’re courageous,” said Tamara VanderArk-Potter, director of communications and marketing with the Spectrum Health Foundation. “It’s what they live their lives for. But sometimes it gets to be a lot.”
Thursday, as many celebrate with a limited number of family and friends, on duty Spectrum Health workers are getting a small gesture of appreciation.
“There’s comfort in food,” VanderArk-Potter said.
On Thursday afternoon, 230 warm meals were set to arrive.
“And that’s because a community member, Anna Palmer, started a GoFundMe page and raised funds so that her friends and family could come together and provide meals for staff that are here,” VanderArk-Potter said.
And then there were the sweets that began arriving Wednesday — thousands of them by the box load.
“It’s really special to see how our area bakeries are helping us and supporting the workers through all of Spectrum Health,” VanderArk-Potter said.
And the message of support went beyond food.
Drawings by a young fives class were handed out along with the treats.
The message from the kids is something we might all learn from.
That it’s the simple gestures, like offering a smile and a thank you the next time you see a person wearing scrubs, that can make a big difference.
“They give their all. And they give their all 24/7. It doesn’t change during a pandemic. It just means there’s people needing their all,” VanderArk-Potter said.
Donations can also help provide that extra gesture. People can donate online.