Support is coming in for front-line workers at Ridge Meadows Hospital in the battle against COVID-19, but more is needed.
A local grocery store was approached by a front-line worker at the hospital about the personal need for toilet paper for staff, who just can’t get their hands on any.
With reduced store hours and increased shift hours, executive director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Laura Butler says, staff are finding it difficult to go out and purchase some of the real basic toiletry items that they need.
Items include toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products and hand lotion.
It’s really difficult for people working shift or long hours to get to the store in those last ten free minutes of the day, said Butler, before they head home to get some sleep – just so they can turn around and go back to work again.
On Monday afternoon the foundation was able to pick up around about 10 packages of toilet paper, some hand lotion and feminine hygiene products, from the grocery store who also accepted a wish list of items they said they will try and help with as stock becomes available.
The foundation has also been approached by Subway about the donation of pre-packaged brownies and other community members who have arranged for a catering company to box up items to deliver to the hospital.
Big Feast made a delivery to staff at the hospital on Saturday of sandwiches, assorted salads and fresh baked cookies.
Hospital workers were able to pick up the food outside the building where Big Feast owner Mike Mulcahy had everything boxed and ready to go.
“With our dining rooms closing, that’s a significant amount of our revenues, right. What do you do with all the food that’s in your cooler. It only lasts so long,” said Mulcahy who had to lay off 50 staff members last week.
Around 65 workers were fed by Big Feast on Saturday and Mulcahy said he is planning to make more donations this week to other parties he has reached out to.
Another citizen donor who wanted to remain anonymous dropped off 30 McDonald’s burgers for workers on Friday, in the emergency department and the psychiatric unit at the hospital.
Butler cautioned that anyone wishing to donate must contact the foundation office first as they need to make sure the donation is appropriate, that it will be used, that they have space for it and it has undergone infection control procedures.
On Monday the cafeteria at the hospital was open for staff only and coffee was provided for free by the foundation.
“We are just trying to find some of those small things that can make a difference and let our health care members know that we care about them and our donors care about them and our community is so appreciative of everything that they are doing right now,” said Butler.
To make a donation contact Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation development officer Deanna Lackey at 604-463-1801.