To support front-line health-care providers, students at St. Teresa Catholic School in Edmonton wrote cards, letters, and drew images.
The students wanted to convey their gratitude and admiration for all the work that health-care providers perform to keep Albertans safe, according to the school.
“I just wanted to write something kind, something from the heart… to give the health front-line employees a boost of enthusiasm when they read the card,” said Christopher Chornui, a Grade 6 student.
In his card, he added an acrostic poem with terms like “thankful” and “helpful.”
Other cards said things like “Not all heroes wear capes” and “thank you to our front-line workers.”
They were dropped off for staff at the Grey Nuns and University of Alberta hospitals.
Grade 6 student Rayn Yee wanted to make her card colourful — full of rainbows and cats and “happy stuff.”
“I wrote: ‘Thank you for helping others,’” she said. “It felt heartwarming for me. I imagine them having a smile on their face.”
Liz Strang is a registered nurse at the Grey Nuns, working in the maternity unit. Her son Max is a Grade 5 student at St. Teresa.
“Max came home from school one day — they bring home an agenda every day — and in the agenda, his teacher wrote a message saying the kids had made cards for health-care workers and was wondering if I could bring them to our unit.
“Max brought them home from school one day and on my way to work, I brought them in.
The words of support and thanks came from the heart, Strang said.
“You could absolutely tell in so many of their messages that it was so heartfelt and they had such an awareness of what was going on with COVID-19 and the health-care workers and how it can be a little bit overwhelming at times for us in the hospital.
“Their messages came loud and clear,” she added.
Many of the cards had drawings of hugs for the front-line workers, which meant a lot to them, Strang said.
She said it was a reminder to health workers that there is more support and encouragement out there than negativity, even though the negative voices can often be very loud.
“They’re our future. They are our hope,” Strang said of the kids.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the staff and students from St. Teresa. Your message came through loud and clear and we are uplifted and it brought a ton of smiles.”
Alberta has been grappling with an intense fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been more than 1,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for weeks and Alberta Health Services has had to reassign staff to handle the surge of intensive care patients. About 8,500 non-urgent surgeries have been postponed or delayed since the end of August as a result.
Alberta’s ICUs have been flooded with COVID-19 patients — 93 per cent of whom were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, according to Tuesday’s Alberta Health numbers.
The baseline capacity of ICU beds in Alberta is 173. Surge beds have been added, and as of Tuesday afternoon, AHS said the province had 374 ICU beds, with 307 beds being used.
ICU capacity in the province stands at 82 percent. Alberta’s ICU capacity would be 177 percent without the 201 surge ICU beds.
Other words of support have been sent to the Grey Nuns hospital, according to Strang.
“Thank you notes are frequently scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk,” she explained. “We’ve got large posters on the hospital’s perimeter… It has a lot of meaning and influence.”
More Albertans should join the card-writing campaign to show their support for health professionals, according to Christopher.
“I encourage every student to do so since it provides them an extra push of motivation to keep working.”