Small acts of kindness bring big smiles

Team members were grateful to receive blessing bags from Lakeland Community Church.

Over the last year, communities have rallied around frontline health care heroes across the country and close to home. In cities and towns close to Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, people and local businesses have shown their appreciation in various ways.

Early on in the pandemic, when the hospital cafeteria was closed, a group of community members from Geneva National teamed up to raise more than $36,000 to provide meals to team members.

“We realized that medical staff would be working selflessly and tirelessly on the front lines of combating the virus, and that many of the days ahead were going to be brutal,” explained an anonymous donor who was instrumental in raising funds. “The generosity of our friends and neighbors was overwhelming!”

Donors partnered with Fiddlesticks Bistro to deliver more than 3,000 meals to those on the frontlines.

“I hope we were able to take the stress off of hospital staff by providing a ready-to-eat meal. I want them to know that I’m thankful for them even if I can’t be there to tell them face to face. Life got hectic quickly for the world, and they stuck through it,” said Jonathan Mellor, owner of Fiddlesticks Bistro. “I am glad I just got to still do what I love to do during all of this. This opportunity was a blessing more than anyone knows. To everyone who donated, thank you.”

Lakeland Community Church donated “blessing bags” filled with a variety of care items, which were given to 160 team members.

“The heroes in the health care community and their families have sacrificed so much in this pandemic. They rose to the challenge in our greatest time of need,” shared Jeff Tillson, one of the pastors at Lakeland Community Church. “We just wanted to find a simple way to say thanks and show them how much they matter.”

And Stebnitz Builders Inc. donated custom-made name badge pulls and tea bags to team members.

“I don’t think most of us can begin to imagine what they’ve been through over the last year,” said Tracy McHugh, sales and brand manager. “We’re so thankful for their strength and resilience. We want them to know we care and support them.”

Team members are deeply grateful for all the gestures of kindness they’ve received, big and small.

“The donations we have received in our Emergency Department boosted our morale and helped show importance to everyone around us. It’s truly an amazing feeling to be recognized for our hard work and dedication to this hospital, and our entire community!”
– Alex Ostrander

“The support and love shown by the community has meant so much to me and my fellow coworkers. We appreciate and even cherish every kind note, beautiful flower, amazing sweets and delicious meals and snacks. They have really helped get us through this pandemic.”
– Karin Ross

Team members say thank you after Stebnitz Builders, Inc. donated custom name badge pulls and tea bags.

“During this last year there have been many times that we feel like we are drowning we are so busy.  We feel the thoughts, prayers and support of the community. These are the lifesavers that keep us afloat during those times.  We can’t thank the community, our management and our coworkers enough for their overwhelming support.”
– Tammy Peterson

“When I look back on this past year, I will remember how our wonderful community supported those of us on the front lines. Thank you for loving us and feeding us so well. We will never forget your kindness and support.”
– Jana Diaz

How you can help

While we are no longer in need of food donations, there are many other ways to support team members, our patients and their families as the pandemic continues to impact our communities. Get started here.