“Can my car’s oil change turn into a social movement? I sure hope so!
My name is Liz, and I’m a labor and delivery nurse in Kentucky. As I’m sure everyone knows, it’s a rough time to be in healthcare. Even for a department like ours, where we work with mostly healthy patients, we are not safe from COVID-19. There’s a limit to what we have control over. We don’t know who has been exposed to what. If a sick mother goes into labor or has a pregnancy complication, we will care for her. And there’s a lack of masks and gloves to keep us safe.
Throughout the hospital, nothing is normal these days. Going to work feels a little like going to war. It’s a lot of stress on everyone.
All of this was weighing on my mind a few days ago when I was deciding whether to cancel a car maintenance appointment. I had been hardcore social isolating but didn’t want to risk my car breaking down. I decided to go, but instead of sitting in the waiting room, I’d take a walk to reduce potential exposures. I remembered there’s the most delicious donut shop about a mile from the dealership, and knowing the hardship restaurants are experiencing, I got an idea. I decided to get donuts for all of my coworkers. Suddenly the walk I’d planned to stay healthy became a great way to support a local business AND boost morale at work. So, while my car was being serviced, I walked over to the donut shop and carried out two dozen donuts for work (plus some for my family).
That night, I shared my ‘economic stimulus donuts’ with my coworkers. They were a huge hit! It really lightened the mood having a special treat. While headed home in the morning, I called my mom and told her about what I’d done. I said it felt great supporting a local restaurant and encouraging my fellow healthcare workers. She thought it was a great idea and told me she would like to buy dinner for my coworkers and me to support another local restaurant. ‘Yeah, okay,’ I told her since she’s a newly retired nurse herself and money is tight. But she insisted. She said since she didn’t have medical supplies to donate, she wanted to do something to support those of us risking our own health to provide necessary services. I was touched.
My coworkers were thrilled and so appreciative when they found out. That night, I ordered 60 tacos from my favorite local Mexican restaurant to feed the 18 of us working. Suddenly, we had something extra to look forward to about being at the hospital. A delicious meal we didn’t have to cook or pay for would be waiting for us. Knowing it was coming from a place of appreciation made it extra special. And knowing it was a big order a restaurant wouldn’t have otherwise gotten was gratifying. Plus, it turned out none of my coworkers knew about this restaurant before I brought in their tacos, so it was great advertising for them.
By sharing this story, we hope to inspire others to support their local restaurants AND their essential workers in the same way my mom did.
If you are fortunate enough to have the resources, please consider feeding your local frontline workers. It could be by sending pizzas to your ER or ICU staff, buying gift cards for your garbage collectors, ordering coffee for your grocery store workers, getting Chinese delivered to your local police station, or whatever else you can dream up. Make someone’s day. Show them you appreciate that they are out there risking their health to protect yours. Show your favorite local restaurant that you value and support them too. And PLEASE help us all stay healthy by staying home as much as you can!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth Whiting Magg. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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