Healthcare Heroes Inspired Outpouring of Gratitude, Food, Supplies, Financial Support and Tributes which in turn Inspired Healthcare Heroes
While staff and caregivers at Long Island Community Hospital worked tirelessly to save the lives of those stricken by the coronavirus, members of our community were looking for ways to show their gratitude and keep spirits high. As the number of COVID-19 positive patients began to rise, so did the number of calls to the hospital from individuals, local businesses and corporations who wanted to do their part and show their support for their local healthcare heroes.
The donations were almost countless. They included gifts handmade with care such as signs, posters and over 2,600 vital cloth masks that our staff wears on a daily basis. There was an incredible amount of savory and sweet food distributed to all of our essential workers. There were truckloads of personal protective equipment and there were generous financial donations for more supplies and equipment. Individuals, local businesses and corporations found a myriad of ways to support the local community hospital.
“The outpouring of gratitude and generosity in response to our hospital and our courageous caregivers since the start of the COVID-19 crisis is truly immeasurable,” said Richard T. Margulis, President and CEO at LI Community Hospital. “As we approached the end of June, our hospital had already taken in over 800 donations of food and supplies. Our community also came forward with generous financial donations. Thanks to a $500,000 matching grant, made possible by the generosity of the Knapp-Swezey Foundation, Island Outreach Foundation and Gardener Foundation, the Knapp Family COVID-19 Health Crisis Challenge raised over $1,000,000 for vital PPE, supplies and equipment within 3 weeks of the initial announcement.”
The hospital’s social media pages have also exploded with posts including messages of thanks, prayers, hand written letters, posters and even original illustrations. “It’s difficult to communicate the emotions of what it was like to those who were outside the hospital setting, but the community support was a lifeline of hope that touched everyone,” states Cynthia Ruf, Vice President, Branding and Stakeholder Relationships. “During the COVID-19 crisis, we saw our average monthly social engagement increase by 72% across all channels with over 22,000 interactions. Followers to our social platforms also increased by over 40%. This is our community telling us they genuinely appreciate that we are here for them.”
Our community also turned out to show their appreciation through dozens of tributes including touching vehicle parades from local EMS, fire, police, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, community groups, neighbors and families as well as local car clubs. Individuals, including a DJ and bagpiper, shared their time and talent to brighten the day for staff as they came in and went home. One couple came every day at the change of shift to hold up signs of gratitude and applaud the staff.
“We are very pleased to have resumed elective surgeries and outpatient procedures for our community, following all guidelines on precautions and restrictions to keep everyone safe. However, we still have challenges ahead as COVID-19 continues to have an impact on our healthcare system,” said Mr. Margulis. “We continue to need and very much appreciate the support of our community. The encouragement from our community inspires us to continue to live by our values every day and make a difference to all we serve.”
LI Community Hospital continues to encourage and gratefully accept financial donations for the fight against COVID-19. To make a donation, please visit www.licommunityhospital.org and click on “Giving To Our Hospital” or call 631.654.7708.