Lawrence and Memorial Hospital had some very bubbly visitors Friday: fourth graders from Salem Elementary School.
The nine and 10-year-olds wanted to show how genuinely thankful they are for the frontline workers, so they wrote and delivered holiday cards.
“People have been getting sick, people have been dying from it, and doctors have been doing the best they can do to keep people safe,” said student Casey Donat.
“I feel like when 2020 and Covid rolled around everybody was, they were just scared. I know I was. I didn’t know what to expect. I was terrified,” said student Jameson Stevens.
He added, “But because of these doctors, they’ve really been able to get Covid levels down and I really appreciated that."
The students put a lot of effort into writing their cards, eloquently expressing their thanks.
“It’s a good feeling, so that he knows how much we appreciate all of his hard work and how much he’s done for the community,” said student Kacey Larensen, who read her card to Dr. Oday Awad.
“We need to come together in ending this pandemic. It starts with the kids to the elderly, and I could not be more proud of them to be honest,” said Awad.
The gaggle of giddy kids was a welcome interruption for those who have seen a lot the past 22 months or so during the pandemic.
“I meant it when I said it, this is a high part of our day. Every single day we go in there we do the best we can, but to see the community out here and also these kids, the next generation, words escape me, it’s wonderful,” Dr. Oliver Mayorga, chief medical officer at the hospital, said.
The students came up with the assignment, as Dr. Troy Frazer substitute teaches at their school.
“What do you think Dr. Frazer? We want to help, too, because we’re going to be heroes one day,” he explained, the students asking him about the cards.
And these future heroes took the task very seriously.
“I look through the little windows, they’re scratching aggressively. They’re erasing. Even some little kids were getting sweat marks, I’m like it’s just a card,” said Frazer.
A small gesture lifting staff spirits and perhaps healing their own hearts, too.
“They wanted to show their appreciation because it did affect them, their moms, their dads, their employment, some people got sick in their families,” said Frazer.
“It has been a weird year. ‘Cause we definitely thought in 2021 we would get rid of the masks, but unfortunately that did not happen,” said Avangelia Alevras.
These energetic fourth graders reminding us all of the impact of saying thanks.
“Oh, it’s just fantastic. It just fills our heart to see this,” said Mayorga.