Frontline healthcare workers in Cleveland County are getting "Snacks & Thanks" through a community-wide effort to show appreciation to those who work long hours caring for others at Cleveland County's two hospitals.
"Our frontline healthcare workers are tired, exhausted, and emotionally drained from long hours, overcrowded conditions, endless 'rapid response,' and 'code blue' overhead pages. There's no time for a hot meal or even to take a short break to collect themselves," says Dick Baker, executive director of the HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County (HCFCC), which is sponsoring the initiative.
"In these challenging times, having quickly available healthy and energy snacks in each unit on every hospital floor is a most welcome oasis of comfort for these miracle workers," says Baker.
Baker says that community members have asked leaders at the HCFCC how they can show their appreciation to frontline healthcare workers. The result of that inquiry is a "Snacks & Thanks" fund to provide an ongoing supply of these items for the two county hospitals. Colorful baskets of energy snacks, fresh fruit and other items began to be delivered a couple of weeks ago and will continue to be delivered on an ongoing basis.
The deliveries have been gratefully received.
"We don't often get time to have breakfast, so it is so helpful to come in and see a full basket of yummy treats in the morning," says Respiratory Therapist Angie Jackson.
Fellow Respiratory Therapist Kathy Wilkinson agrees: "The notes, smiley faces and drawings that accompany the donations are uplifting. Please keep those coming! It is a wonderful piece of generosity that we appreciate."
"The snacks are so helpful to have on the unit when we can't get time to take a break," says Haley Whisnant, bedside nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "The variety of good snacks give us a break from our usual snack options of apple sauce and crackers or quick meals like pizza."
Lisa Weddle, Nurse Manager of ICU also appreciates the deliveries: "The thoughts and support from the community have been amazing."
Area individuals, businesses, and civic and church groups are encouraged to contribute to the fund, according to Baker: "Every gift is tax-deductible and can be made in honor or memory of a loved one."
Baker also wants community members to know that there is an option for individuals to join in the fundraising by sharing the campaign on their own social media platforms. Posters have been distributed to uptown Shelby merchants, and each poster contains a special QR Code that can be scanned with a smart device directly connecting the user to the campaign website. Another option is to text "Snacks&Thanks" to 44321. This will connect individuals to a secure site to make their donation to the fund.
"Online gifts can be one-time or can repeat monthly," says Baker.
Checks can also be mailed and made payable to the HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County, P.O. Box 550, Shelby, NC 28151. Please note "Snacks" in the memo line.
"Our sincere hope is that our community will support this effort and show the love and appreciation we have for these dedicated caregivers," says Baker. "These workers are giving tirelessly of themselves during these challenging days. Let's show them just how much we care with this tangible act of kindness and comfort that will be so much appreciated."
More information about the "Snacks & Thanks" campaign is available on the Foundation's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages or by visiting the campaign web