For the last week or so, we've had exclusive access to some of the incredible front line staff at Mercy Health in Muskegon to talk about their work through 2020 and all they have had to face with the pandemic that has taken so much from all of us. The heaviest toll of course has been placed on those who have had to care directly for the patients that were admitted to Mercy Hospital with COVID-19. We've spoken to everyone from seasoned veterans to first year nurses and their experiences with helping those suffering under the pandemic have been truly, remarkable.
It's been a combined effort of all of Muskegon to find a way to simply say thank you to those who have given so much up. From facing the idea that they too could contract the virus, to the idea of having to isolate from the family in a camper in the drive way, the sacrifices have been immense. This is what defines a hero however. They follow their chosen path in the face of danger because their commitment to the health and safety of others is what is rooted at the core of their soul. All of that education, preparation and determination complimented by caring in a time when friends and family can't be there and the only voice that may be heard, is that of a nurse, or a doctor. That voice comes with compassion, care and assurance. This is what that combined effort had to be about and this is what Muskegon represents no matter the circumstance.
It happed fast. A conversation at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce turned into an idea which in turn became action and from there, the troops were rallied and it went down. No matter the sacrifices that other business had to make through the pandemic, they all gave a little more. The reached in a little deeper and still said "here, we want to help". Maybe a financial donation, maybe some goods or services....what was left was gifted to those who have been here for all of us in the year we needed them most, and today, the stockings were stuffed and the doors opened to the delight of over 1600 workers at Mercy Hospital for their gift.
We'll begin with Cindy Larson from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Claudine Webber from Mercy Health to talk a little about the Stockings for Frontliners program and then, we'll take you right up to the moment where the stockings were presented to so many incredible people. Take a look!
A remarkable outpouring. An amazing show of togetherness and yet another resolute moment of Muskegon doing what we do best. Making sure that those who have given all are recognized, appreciated and thanked for their tireless work and commitment. Let's go back to March. When all of this was new and none of us knew what the future held. Over and over, we heard "We're in this together". Remember? So much so, that some of us couldn't even take it anymore. Well, THIS is what they were talking about and THIS is what Muskegon has been showing time and time again...better than any other community in West Michigan. We know one thing here. "We're in this together" is nothing new to any of us. We've been in this together for a LONG time and we're not shying away from that anytime soon. A day like today is exactly what set's Muskegon a part and we're so very thankful to Mercy Health and the Muskeon Lakeshore Chamber for the chance to be there to share the story.