Spirit drive held to thank local healthcare workers

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The community came together Saturday in an effort to support and thank our local healthcare heroes working to keep the public safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“You can drop them right there.”

Kate Gardner organized the spirit drive at Salt Pond Plaza in Narragansett.

While social distancing, she collected painted rocks with inspirational messages, note cards with words of encouragement, and gift cards to local restaurants — all to be handed out to workers at Westerly and South County Hospitals.

“Any little bit I could do to give them a sense of encouragement, inspiration, it’s really just a pat on the back for our healthcare heroes really, to support our supporters,” Gardner said.

This is actually Gardner’s second spirit drive. She collected $1,200 in gift cards at one held last Thursday. She says those donations have a huge impact, but so do the handmade ones.

“Keep your sunny-side up, thanks for all that you do, so my contacts at Westerly Hospital and South County Hospital place these rocks of inspirations with notes on the ground outside the hospital as the staff walk in, in the morning or at night going into their shifts it can perk them up.”

South Kingstown Councilman Bryant Da Cruz came out to show his support for Gardner and the work she’s doing to brighten other’s spirit.

“The last time she did it she had such a great turnout from the community. It is such a difficult time for everyone, but I think if we can all spread a little love it goes a long way,” Da Cruz said.

“They are our unsung heroes really and so far we’ve had at least 10 families and we’ve only been here for an hour so the community support is tremendous,” Gardner said.

Gardner already donated the first round of collections and told Eyewitness News she would love to continue holding a spirit drive every week to show continued support for healthcare workers during the crisis.

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