As we approach the one-year mark since the first lockdown due to COVID-19, one resident is doing his best to ensure our local hospital workers know just how much they’re appreciated.
Ryan O’Connor started a fundraiser to ensure these workers know they haven’t been forgotten.
“I am proposing a way to tell these heroes how much they are applauded, thanked, and loved in this unprecedented time,” he said on his fundraising page. “Funds raised will be put towards food for the staff as well as more permanent comfort items for them to use on a daily basis.”
One of those items is a UV sanitizer, which staff can use to clean items such as keys and cell phones before and after their shifts.
“These items are at high risk of carrying germs and it would give them piece of mind,” noted O’Connor.
The other item is a sun lamp to help workers increase their exposure to Vitamin D, as some of their 12-hour shifts don’t allow them to see much daylight.
“The team finds that working twelve or more hour shifts make it almost impossible to get sunshine, especially during COVID when their shifts are being extended beyond normal. This item has been proven to help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and blues that people often get at this time [of year],” wrote O’Connor.
On. Feb. 12, O’Connor used about $2,000 of the $7,600 raised so far to purchase about 200 meals from the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op and delivered them to the hospital.
“I appreciate the support from the community,” said O’Connor.
Prior to COVID-19, O’Connor volunteered with the food co-op and was happy to be able to support both the co-op and the hospital at the same time.
This isn’t O’Connor’s first effort in helping the hospital. Each summer he grows vegetables at a community garden on the fairgrounds property and donates fresh vegetables to the hospital’s kitchen, which are then served to patients during meals. (Read about the garden here.)
O’Connor is determined to reach his $10,000 goal and purchase the items the hospital staff suggested would be beneficial to them during this pandemic. He even posted a video of himself making a snow angel while wearing shorts to encourage others to support the cause by making their own snow angel or a donation.
To donate to O’Connors fundraiser, visit justgiving.com.
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