Kentucky students send healthcare workers letters, goodies

Published 7:20 am Saturday, October 2, 2021

Healthcare workers are on the frontlines of the nation’s response to COVID-19.

To show the local healthcare heroes some love and say “thank you” for what they do, students from several local schools have written letters of encouragement and made goodie bags to be delivered to Baptist Health Hardin staff.

Baptist Health Hardin in a provided statement said, “Our community is outstanding. At times, it can be easy to think that we are in this pandemic all alone. But to have cards, letters, and treats from students who took time out of their day to tell our team that they appreciate them and love them is so meaningful. No one could ever imagine how much these notes and treats mean to staff caring for patients.”

On the morning of Sept. 24, East Hardin Middle School students loaded a van with more than 200 goodie bags and letters to be sent to the healthcare staff.

The seventh-grade students in Angela Vanmeter and Holly Tabor’s language arts classes at the Glendale middle school came up with the idea while reading the book “Pay it Forward.”

“The idea of pay it forward is you do an act of kindness for someone and then they in turn do another act of kind for someone else,” Vanmeter said.

She said they began talking with their classes about acts of kindness and what they might be able to do for the community or the school. They decided on doing something for the Baptist Health Hardin staff.

Vanmeter said they got the information out to other classes and asked for cards and donations. They made posters and even did a video.

“Based on the idea of the book that we’ve been reading we just wanted to do something for the community to give back and it’s been very good for our kids and us teachers as well. It feels good to do something good for somebody else,” she said. “The kids have really embraced this.”

East Hardin Middle School student Shyla Cortez said it made her happy to work on this project.

“I just love it so much. I bought a lot of stuff for the health care workers, and I made little key chains for them,” she said.

Fellow student Maggie Stuecker said health care workers do a lot for others and are appreciated but felt this would let “them know we are believing in them, and we are thinking about them every single day.”

“I feel like what we’re doing will help the health care workers a lot,” she said.

HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan said health care workers always have had a tremendous responsibility.

“However, their burden has been extremely heavy for the last 18 months as COVID-19 has made a deep impact on our society,” she said. “We hope these symbols of appreciation from our students, their families and our staff help our local health professionals understand that we truly are thankful for their dedication and sacrifice during these very difficult times.”

St. James Catholic Regional School students also wrote messages to local health care workers. Principal Sister Marie Hannah said doing so was a lesson of gratitude, empathy, and compassion for the students.

“We wanted to boost the spirits of those working tirelessly day after day and remind them we are thankful for the care they are providing to our community. Our students were excited to express their gratitude and offer encouragement. We continue to pray for those serving in healthcare,” she said.

During the Governor’s Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Week, Morningside Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Amy Key said she had her students write letters of encouragement and thanks.

“I have a personal connection to the hospital with friends who work there, and I have been sharing with my reading classes just how tired they are,” she said. “We wanted to do what we could to put a smile on their faces. A lot has been asked of the hospital staff and our kids were excited to do what they could to help.”