Friday, November 27th, 2020

A heartfelt thank you

Kids appreciate health care workers

By William Kincaid

Rileigh Dobmeyer, left, and Baylie Platfoot carry a care box created by Coldwate. . .

COLDWATER - On the day before Thanksgiving break, Coldwater Elementary second-graders offered a cornucopia of handmade cards, snacks and sugary treats to Mercer Health officials battling a resurgent pandemic.
The kids filled boxes with cards bearing heartfelt crayon and marker-scrawled messages such as "Thank you for helping us!" "Merry Christmas to you!" "Thank you hospital workers," "We appreciate you," "We love you Merser (sic) Health" and "You can do this."
The boxes were also stuffed with potato chips, trail mix, cookies, cupcakes and other goodies.
Mindy Kremer, vice president of development, marketing and community relations at Mercer Health, was delighted to accept the boxes on behalf of the organization.
"I cannot thank the kids enough," said Kremer, who was visibly moved by the gesture. "It really is heartwarming to think about the thought that they put into it, and we're just so blessed to have such a great school system, not only here in Coldwater but throughout the county. It really takes everybody to get through something like this."
The gifts were to be distributed on Wednesday to numerous Mercer Health officials.
"We have been putting goodie buckets for a while on our different units and departments, so we'll probably do that same kind of process," Kremer said.
The initiative came about through the elementary school's character-building curriculum called Purposeful People that focuses on a different trait each month, teacher Becky Lefeld explained.
November is dedicated to the concept of gratitude, she said.
"We've been talking about what's happening in the world," she pointed out. "We kind of talked to them about what we can do to give thanks to people and show thanks to people."
The kids leapt at the opportunity to do something for health care workers who have been working arduously amid the pandemic.
"What better way to show gratitude and teach gratitude than writing thank-you cards?" Lefeld said. "This is easy. Second-graders love making cards. People like to see the things they make."
Students made the cards in their spare time at school and at home. Lefeld said her class alone cranked out at least 50 cards.
"The neat thing is it's such a connection to the community and just a great learning experience," elementary principal Mike Etzler said. "Through adversity you've got to persevere."
The second-graders' gesture comes on the heels of another showing of gratitude.
Dozens of area first responders turned on their lights to show their support for health care workers by parading to Mercer County Community Hospital and circling Briarwood Village on Tuesday evening.
"I think some of us are still just in awe of the gesture last evening," Kremer said. "It really meant a lot. I think a lot of us, it was an emotional experience. Definitely our staff is fatigued, and it's overwhelming to know that our community is embracing what we're doing for them."
Health care is a calling and officials are proud to care for the community, she continued.
"In times like this when you're given that extra push and extra effort to do what it takes, it's nice to know that it's appreciated,' she said.
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