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MARATHON MAN: Thank you cards for the community

With every card written our reach will be expanded, and our community frontline medical heroes will hopefully know how much they are appreciated
MVT Thank you health-care workers Olds
Mary Turner, right, an organizer of a drive to create more than 900 thank you cards for front-line health-care workers and Olds hospital site manager Wayne Krejci, left carry boxes of thank you card packages into the hospital on Nov. 2. Doug Collie/MVP Staff

My journey as District Governor for Rotary District 5360 has reached the four month mark and over the past several months, Rotary Club members have looked for meaningful and safe ways to engage with their communities. Several clubs have decided to write personalized thank you cards to frontline health care workers and others who worked behind the scenes to support and serve all of us during the pandemic.  

Here is one story from Mary Turner of the Rotary Club of Olds:

“February 2020, the world changed, at least it did here in Alberta when COVD-19 restrictions changed the way we interact with each other. On Friday April 3rd 2020, our local hospital closed their doors to outside visitors; a devastating phone call came that night cutting off my ability to care for, and visit my ailing mother who had been admitted with chronic pneumonia. My world changed and I was now entirely relying on her physician, and the hospital staff to care for her in what turned out to be the last three weeks of her life.

The pandemic has consumed us.  Our frontline workers are working hard every single day throughout our communities as we continue to battle COVID-19. Escalating numbers, stress on capacity and burnout are daily conversations. Now, more than ever is the time to express our gratitude to those who have not taken a break, who have been there caring for our community, even when we could not be there.

‘Thank you’, two words that can change the world for the person receiving this message, and for the person giving it. As Rotarians we are asked to provide ‘Service Above Self’, and this year to ‘Serve to Change Lives’. It occurred to me that this is exactly what our frontline medical workers do. 

‘Thank you’, two words which will increase our own mental health and wellness as givers expressing it, and will provide a ray of sunshine, and hope to those receiving it. The Rotary Club of Olds has partnered with our local Kiwanis Club and our local Lions Club to write cards, with messages of appreciation to our front-line medical workers throughout our community. We will add a small treat and create grab bags for all. I am thrilled that other groups in our community have also come forward to write cards expressing appreciation.

Now is the time to reach out with gratitude. Every member is critical, included and appreciated. When my mom passed away, I will never forget the tears in the eyes of the cleaning staff who looked after my mom’s room. With every card written our reach will be expanded, and our community frontline medical heroes will hopefully know how much they are appreciated.”

So if you’re in a service club, school, business or someone who just wants to say “thank you”, now is the time to do it.

© 2021 Martin Parnell