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Civic groups band together to support hospital employees

Due to the coronavirus, WellStar in LaGrange had to close its coffee shop, but three civic organizations are doing their part to help bring coffee and ice cream to the staff.

On Friday, the Lion’s Club, Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club joined together to purchase coffee from Harvest Coffee, ice cream from Dairy Queen and popsicles from Frios for the nurses, doctors and staff at the hospital.

“This all started with a conversation two weeks ago of us just wanting to show our support to the hospital,” said Kiwanis President Dale Jackson. “We all wanted to help out. We are happy to help and to just let the staff know we are here to support them.”

Susan Ferguson with Rotary Club said after a discussion with hospital president Coleman Foss, the first thing they were asked to do was pray.

“I emailed the entire Rotary membership, and we started a prayer chain,” Ferguson said. “There are probably about 30 of us so far that are in the prayer chain. When Dale called us about helping with the dessert, of course, we were happy to help out. Sometimes, a dessert might just be what they need to take a break for half a minute and rejuvenate. We appreciate all that all of them are doing.”

The three organizations purchased more than $1,000 of each product for the staff to have each day until it runs out.

“We’re just happy to support and help the hospital in any way we can,” said Lions Club member Larkin Dorsey. “They are working so hard to treat the patients in this community, and we are happy that the employees can now get a little treat or coffee or dessert.”

Foss said he was thankful for the support the hospital has been receiving since the outbreak of the virus.

“The outpouring of concern for our team members is beyond measure,” Foss said. “We have received phone calls, texts and emails asking if we are ok, and I assure you we are. Responding to the call is what we do as healthcare providers. We are fully prepared, staffed and trained to take care of our community in a time like this. Sending treats and coffee to our team members means the world to them. It means so much. It reinforces the support and validation for the job they do. To the community, we say thank you. We want you to know that we are here and responding to this situation as it continues to unfold. On behalf of our team members, we thank you for entrusting us to be your healthcare providers, it’s our honor to serve you.”

Patrick Crews with Kiwanis said he hopes this starts a spark reaction and other civic organizations with supporting the hospital.

“Almost all of them are on the front line,” Crews said. “I think there was a desire by us by the community to let them know that we appreciate what they’re doing. This is just a very small token of appreciation. We just want the hospital staff to know that we care about them, and the other people in the medical community that are also fighting this.”

Jackson said in doing this, it is also helping the small businesses who are dealing with revenue loss.

“It’s a win-win for the hospital staff, and for at least three small businesses,” Jackson said. “Hopefully somebody else can step in next week and help three more businesses help some other staff. We just want to kind of start up a trend and try to help out. This is what civic clubs are supposed to be doing. I wanted this to be a unified front with at least the three of us and to help remind people we maybe we need to get back to civic clubs.”