How do you thank the people who care for patients during a pandemic?
For one neighborhood, the answer is: Create a sign.
Residents of Rosewood Avenue SE are expressing their appreciation for the health care workers at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital with signs that shout gratitude in large, colorful letters.
The East Grand Rapids neighborhood sits just a block north of Blodgett Hospital. The bus that shuttles employees between the hospital and a parking lot passes by every afternoon.
“When they turn on our street, they see all these signs of gratitude,” Abigail Corcoran said. “It’s a way to wrap our arms around the health care community.”
On Wednesday afternoon, 22 signs lined the street, proclaiming:
“Thank U, Spectrum”
“We love health care workers”
“Thank You, Blodgett staff”
Neighbors stood outside in the sunshine and waved as the Spectrum Health shuttle bus went by. The employees in the bus smiled and waved back.
The idea for the signs came about last week during a “social distancing” St. Patrick’s Day party, in which neighbors greeted each other from a distance.
Jessie Hogeterp suggested creating signs to show appreciation for the Blodgett Hospital employees as they commute back and forth to work.
The first signs appeared Tuesday morning. More pop up every day.
Abigail and Ryan Corcoran, who moved to the block last fall, involved their children, Xavier, 5, and Bernadette, 2, in their show of support. They decorated their “Thank you, Spectrum” sign with two blue hearts.
Abigail said she feels “an immense gratitude” toward the health care workers who care for patients as the cases of COVID-19 rise in the state, nation and world.
“They are putting themselves and their families at greater risk than the rest of us to take care of everyone,” she said. “They are making the big sacrifice.
“We just want to show our gratitude and our support. This is just one little thing we can do at this time.”