Ways for kids to support local health care workers?
April 20, 2020 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas for ways I and my kids (ages 7 & 11) can help support local health care workers, aside from putting signs in our windows and banging pots and pans at 7 pm (and staying healthy). We don't know any personally. Is there anything else we can do during these long days at home? We're in Portland, OR.
posted by gottabefunky to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can the kids learn how to sew and make masks to donate?
posted by jabes at 12:00 PM on April 20, 2020

Write to your reps and pressure them for better PPE, pay and conditions.
posted by runincircles at 12:10 PM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Just spitballing here, but what about making some yard signs you post near the exits and entrances to hospitals? The hospitals might move them, but I'm thinking they might let them stay up. You could also do bigger signs on telephone poles.

A friend of mine is an infectious diseases doctor, and she's gotten a few care packages left at her door from neighbors that she's really appreciated. I know you said you don't know any of these folks personally, but what about asking your local network if they know of folks?

Oh! And here's one! On the recent Hysteria podcast, they talked to a healthcare worker in Oregon (I noted because I'm in Portland too). She was talking about how folks who work in healthcare don't really have capacity right now to do the low key things they might usually do, like think about elderly folks or other vulnerable people. I can't remember all the details. But the idea is, maybe regular non-healthcare-working citizens can fill in some of the gaps that healthcare workers have left as they focus on covid. Of course, the healthcare workers wouldn't know you are doing this but I don't know if that's the point.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:29 PM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A Girl Scout troop supplied my hospital with snack bags for the staff. Each baggie had a power bar type thing, a piece of fruit, a piece of candy and a bag of chips/pretzels. We put it on a cart near where nurses check in. Each week they have given us more and we go through them fast. Each bag has a little thank you note/tag on it.

There is often little time for meals and some of the other donated food cannot be eaten on the go (or even in the car on the way home after a 12 hour shift). I also like that it includes something healthy because too often the only easy quick things around are junk.

I think this is easy and nice. Obviously you are just a family so maybe on a smaller scale this could be done (or maybe neighbors would pitch in). This is going on for a while so the need will continue.

We also have had people drop off hand drawn signs of thanks from kids that are on walls in hallways and break rooms. As for drop off if you do not have a contact, someone at the front desk or main phone number should be able to help you. Or tell them it is for the Emergency Department which is always busy.
posted by maxg94 at 1:11 PM on April 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

Colorful happy artwork, homemade cards. Mail to local nursing homes or hospitals.
posted by loveandhappiness at 2:18 PM on April 20, 2020

I’d second notes for folks in nursing homes; one of those things that medical staff doesn’t have as much time for right now is spending time with lonely people, and right now a lot of their families are also not allowed to visit. I know locally there are some folks collecting these kinds of things (both paper and online), maybe your area is the same?
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:30 PM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Find out if anyone in your area is organizing volunteers to make phone calls to elderly folks and nursing home residents. You'll be making life better for both the people you talk to and the people who care for them.
posted by entropyiswinning at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2020

Best answer: There wasn't anything 'essential' left to order on amazon, but I did get 4 cases of those stylus pens with the black nubbins for touchscreens and keypads. 2 cases for the dostors/nurses/emts at the hospital down the street and 2 cases for my doctor friend's hospital. I figured it might help them stay safe outside the hospital too. (#DONTTOUCHTOUCHSCREENS)
They were less than $1/ea in bulk and they're even...fancy, with crystals in the barrel...ooo.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:08 PM on April 20, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions! I guess we'd call the hospitals directly for instructions on how to drop things off?
posted by gottabefunky at 10:33 AM on April 22, 2020

Response by poster: Also wondering if snack/care bags would just give them more work to do, assuming they'd have to clean everything?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:00 AM on April 22, 2020

Check with your local hospitals before going food route as they may not be able to accept it. My local hospital will only accept pre-approved individually portioned/wrapped items prepared in a commercial kitchen. They also will not accept physical thank you cards or signs.

Other entities such as EMTs, Fire Depts and elder care workers may have more ability to accept donated items.
posted by Orrorin at 1:43 PM on April 22, 2020

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