A few members of the Bermuda Salvation Army were looking around their community and noticed what a fantastic job nurses have been doing and how hard so many of them have been working, especially within the past 14 months.
“ We were wondering how we could show our appreciation for everything that they do, and the idea came to us to write them cards,” Lieutenant Kandacy Barnes said. “ People are at home, they cannot get to the store that often, but they are able to write cards.”
Some organizations which helped contribute to this card drive were Port Royal Primary School, Chatmore British International School, the Phoenix Stores, Brown & Company and Tools and Equipment to name just a few.
The drive opened on May 1, coinciding with International Nurses’ Month. “We wanted to write cards during the entire month so that we could [tell nurses] that we were thinking of them and this is how we wanted to show our deep appreciation,” Lieutenant Barnes said.
The cards were very touching and heartwarming and one read as follows: “ Every day when I was in bed, you got up, got dressed, you went to the frontlines and stuck it out for me.”
“ That card really touched my heart, because it really does convey the reality of what nurses are doing,” Lieutenant Barnes said. “ Thank you is not enough to express the true gratitude that we feel for what they are doing within our community.”
The Salvation Army set a goal of 500 cards for the drive, because that is how many nurses work within the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB).
“It does not stop there, though. We are also doing the Department of Health and are trying to get [a card for] as many nurses on the island as we can,” Lieutenant Barnes said.
According to Major Rob Curd, head of the Salvation Army in Bermuda, the card drive is recognizing people who serve the same people that the Salvation Army serves; the marginalized, vulnerable and people who need help on a regular basis.
“ The Salvation Army sees themselves working in partnership for the betterment of the community with nurses and would like to recognize and thank them today for their hard work,” Major Curd said.
Prior to the pandemic, members of the Salvation Army made visits to the hospital and tried to offer some spiritual support and guidance to patients. Since they were unable to do this for quite some time, the Salvation Army had to rely on the nurses to do what they do best.
“ We saw what some nurses were doing, in fact we knew one of them that got recognized for her tireless work at the hospital, and our thought [behind this card drive] was if they give so much, why can’t the community give something back to them,” Captain Dwayne Barnes said. The cards are greatly appreciated by the nurses, as is any recognition for any of the island’s frontline staff.
“ All of the hospital’s frontline staff have been affected by this pandemic, but nurses have been in all areas 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have probably been the most affected by this pandemic,” KEMH’s head of nursing Judith Richardson said. “We will ensure that everyone is given one of these beautiful cards.
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