In a global healthcare crisis, who will care for the caregivers?
For Carroll Hospital and Carroll Hospice, the answer has been resoundingly clear: our community will answer the call. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carroll Hospital Foundation has experienced an outpouring of generosity from community members and local businesses eager to lend a hand.
The gifts have come in all shapes and sizes, from cases of Girl Scout cookies to jugs of hand sanitizer. One young girl worked with her mother to deliver 250 handwritten thank-you notes—each packaged with a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card—to front-line responders. Another community member donated his COVID-19 stimulus check to a local restaurant to provide meals for Carroll Hospice staff for a day.
“Our community has been absolutely amazing,” says Ellen Finnerty Myers, the hospital’s chief development officer and vice president of corporate development. “Our front-line workers have been incredibly resilient through all of this, and these gifts are tremendous in helping to alleviate a lot of their worry. The staff has been just blown away by the support.”
Due to the community’s overwhelming response, the Carroll Hospital Foundation and LifeBridge Health established the Care Bravely Compassion Fund in late March to make it easier for everyone to get involved. Donations to the fund go directly toward providing important tools—including personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and meals—to nurses, physicians and other front-line staff. In the first 10 weeks, donors had contributed nearly $300,000 to the fund.
“We’re a strong hospital because of our community, and we were ready for this pandemic because of our community,” says Myers.
While some community members may be struggling with financial uncertainties right now, there are ways that everyone can give back. “People have been sending us homemade videos, messages and artwork, and they are compiled and shared with staff every week so that they can see the community’s gratitude,” says Myers. “Also, just following all the guidelines, such as social distancing and wearing masks, is an important way to show you care. The more everyone does their part, the faster we can get through this together.”
Pictured above: All four Carroll County Rotary Clubs combined efforts to donate thousands of surgical masks as well as fund to the Care Bravely Compassion Fund.