By Stephen Bogdan

Staff and volunteers from the Red Cross of Eastern New York spent many mornings this past spring loading food and goodies into disaster response vehicles and then driving out to hospitals throughout the Mohawk Valley, Capital District, and North Country to join other community organizations to say a very heartfelt thank-you our regions  frontline healthcare heroes

While most New Yorkers are working from home and finding ways to entertain themselves while staying inside, our healthcare workforce remains steadfastly on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis while continuing to treat patients for a variety of other illnesses and conditions. Many are working double shifts and working seven days a week. To show our gratitude for this selfless effort, the Red Cross has partnered with local business and community organizations to arrange healthcare worker appreciation days at hospitals and healthcare systems across our region. We have participated with in parades, food drop offs at facilities, and provided comfort and conversation to our partners while pouring coffee at a canteen.

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of many healthcare workers in various ways. To minimize risk of exposure, some are living apart from their families for prolonged periods of time. Many are working double shifts and working seven days a week.

“We are delighted to support our frontline heroes and are so grateful to our community partners how make this possible,” said Josh Moskowitz , Senior Disaster Program Manager. American Red Cross Eastern New York.

The goal of this Red Cross mission it to show appreciation and support for every hospital, health system and person involved in keeping our communities healthy. While handing out drinks and goodies to delighted hospital employees, one  Red Cross volunteer on the mission heard concern from a nurse about not being able to leave work and make sure their families were safe and exercising precaution to prevent COVID-19 infections. “I was overwhelmed by their dedication,”said one volunteer who attended the mission.

At Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, the Red Cross partnered with local businesses and bakeries to say “thank you” to nurses, doctors, and hospital staff which culminated in a drive by completed with a drive by parade. A Troy Girls Scout troop even crafted some beautiful ‘thank you posters’ to show their support and gratitude.