As stressful as I find these days to be between the news headlines, the state of the economy and homeschooling three children; when I think of my family and friends like Ilana (Stanford ICU nurse), YoungJin, (ER physician) and Michael (surgeon), I can only imagine how they are feeling…daily. Each day they knowingly walk into an environment where they almost certainly will be exposed, and yet they show up day after day. My heart swells with gratitude at their sacrifice as they leave their homes and families each day to care for the sickest of patients.
A couple of weeks ago, I unexpectedly found myself hospitalized with an aggressive bacterial infection. COVID-19 protocols and mandates had just gone into place here in the Bay Area and healthcare workers were scrambling to quickly adjust to what was to become the new normal. Throughout my weeklong stay, I was in awe of their expertise, knowledge, skills, kindness, empathy, and genuine concern for my well-being.
We Must Live It
While feeling gratitude is the essential first step, I also believe our actions reflect what is in our hearts. Verima has donated over 300 hand sanitizer bottles to those in high contact/risk jobs including mail/UPS/FedEx carriers, grocery store employees, and food delivery drivers.
We are also busy sending care packages full of hand sanitizer and our citrus trio lotion (to combat the raw hands from constant washing) to doctors, nurses, clinics, and other frontline workers.
Additionally, Verima has just launched its newest promotion. For every bottle of lotion purchased, we will donate a bottle to a healthcare worker. The feedback from the frontlines has been that our formula helps soothe the discomfort of red, cracked skin on their hands.
Last year, my daughter’s school studied change-maker Fred Rogers creator of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. I devoured his program as a child and I distinctly remember the story he told about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
I wanted to get my children involved in being “the helpers” so as a family we decided we would like to order lunch from a locally owned restaurant and have it delivered to a department at Stanford Hospital. I see this as a double win for supporting a small local business as well as providing tasty and healthy nourishment for our hospital workers.
By contributing and giving back to our community, we take back some of our power and ease our feelings of helplessness. We also model and teach our children how to take action in times of chaos. But most importantly, we offer help where there is need. As a family, we also determined another way we could help was to Call/check-in with an elderly neighbor and ask if there’s anything we can do to assist them. We discovered as a family our neighbors were simply happy to be engaged in a few short minutes of conversation, a silly song sung to them, or a funny joke.
It may be quite sometime before life returns to what we knew before this pandemic. And while our emotions may run the gamut, if we focus on gratitude and giving, there is no doubt that we all benefit. Let’s all be the helpers. Stay safe my friends.