Every day on every news channel, two teen siblings watched the sacrifices of medical workers around the world who risk their physical and mental health on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were really moved by this [pandemic], and we knew that we had to involve our community and take action,” said Prabhleen, 15.
In just two months, they’ve collected more than 250 thank-you cards from members of the community, mailed to their home in the suburban city of Fremont. Then they've sent them to workers at four hospitals—each along with a US$10 VISA gift card.
The handwritten cards are often decorated with hearts, flowers, and stars.
One had a drawing of a hospital with the phrase, “Heroes work here.” Another card had a message from Girl Scout Troop 31164: “Thank you for going to work every day and being there when we need it the most.”
“During these times of darkness and uncertainty, we just wanted to try to shine some light on the fact that we do have true heroes working on the front lines who are trying their hardest to save people’s lives,” said Mantej, 17.
So far, Prabhleen and Mantej have sent cards to the UC Davis Medical Center, the Los Angeles Community Hospital, the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona.
The feedback has been rewarding.
“We received pictures from the health care workers, and we can just see from their faces that a small nod of encouragement with a small $10 gift card can go a long way to encourage them and to help them get through the difficult days,” Prabhleen said.
“They know that, ‘OK, we’re not alone. And there are people who do support us and care for us,’” she said.