Alberta’s hardworking health-care workers are getting some new support in the battle against COVID-19.
Calgary hairstylist Melissa Miller is out to boost their spirts by handing out well-deserved bouquets of flowers to front-line workers at hospitals.
“I know you guys are under a lot of stress and strain,” Miller told one nurse, “so I just wanted to send you some love.”
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Health-care workers said it’s a gesture they appreciate.
“Everyone’s pretty burnt out right now, and having that appreciation, it’s a nice boost,” registered nurse Kelsey Lauren said.
Miller was handing out bouquets Friday outside the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre in Calgary.
“It’s very encouraging,” registered nurse Ria Schneider said. “(It) makes me feel even more proud to do what I do every day.”
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Health-care workers said the flowers are especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re trying to stay above ground right now,” registered nurse Monica Park said.
“It’s been a little difficult.”
Miller said she found recent protests at hospitals upsetting.
“Our health-care workers don’t deserve that, so it’s been really hard to watch,” she said.
Miller is calling her efforts The Lois Project, inspired by her 81-year-old grandmother Lois, a retired nurse.
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Miller started handing out bouquets on Sept. 18 with $60 worth of flowers she had bought.
The project has been growing since then as others join in to support it.
“I set up a GoFundMe account this past week, and in four days it accumulated a little over $2,600 in donations,” Miller said.
“I am going to hit as many hospitals as I can, show love to as many people as I can and just spread the kindness.”
Miller’s efforts have been well-received by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents about 55,000 health-care workers around the province.
“Our health-care workers really do deserve every accolade that could be thrust upon them,” AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola said.
“They are the heroes in this pandemic.”
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