A local initiative to show support to Medicine Hat’s health-care workers is continually growing in momentum, says founder Alison Jacques.
Operation Appreciation was started in mid-September and was born out of a feeling of hopelessness, Jacques says.
“I was reading stories on Facebook and talking to friends who are health-care workers and nurses, and hearing those stories constantly, you feel kind of hopeless,” she told the News. “I really just wanted to do something to show the health-care workers in Medicine Hat there are people out there that do care about what they’re doing and that we’re throwing our support and our appreciation behind them, because they are working extremely hard right now.”
The first event Jacques organized was a walk last weekend around Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, in which attendees were invited to bring signs giving thanks and encouragement to hospital staff. The event was a success with approximately 75 attendees, who were able to maintain social distancing while walking. Jacques says Operation Appreciation received a lot of positive feedback from workers who witnessed the walk.
Throughout the past week, Operation Appreciation has continued to give back by delivering handmade notes, gift cards and care packages to health-care workers throughout the city. Community members and local vendors have joined together to provide the items needed.
“I think when times are tough, good always rises to the top,” Jacques said. “There are some pretty amazing people who have thrown their support behind this.”
When asked about the future of Operation Appreciation she said, “I hope we can keep this up for as long as (Medicine Hat’s health-care workers) need that support. It’ll be a rough next couple of months, so we’ll stick with it.”
Jacques has another event planned for Saturday. She encourages anyone interested in volunteering or donating to join the Operation Appreciation Facebook group where all events and updates will be posted.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News