Two National Charity League local chapters fused their philanthropy and artistry to display gratitude toward the crucial healthcare workers at Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah campus.
A host of members from the Mercer Island Evergreen and Lake Washington chapters created 1,600 handmade appreciation cards, which were delivered to Swedish’s Kelly Huber in the campus’ parking garage earlier this month and then distributed to the workers.
“My sincere thank you to all those who put such an effort to make us all feel so loved. Melted my heart, brought tears to my eyes and made my day complete. Just knowing there are such kind people out there in these times of hardship and pandemic to make others feel loved is incredible,” said Huber, interim volunteer services manager.
Colleen Petersen, Evergreen’s vice president of philanthropy, said that some Swedish staffers asked if the chapter would be able to delve into the project and construct 1,200 cards to be distributed by Valentine’s Day. By bringing the Lake Washington chapter on board, they made it an Island event with more mothers and daughters involved to not only meet the goal amount of cards, but easily surpass it.
“We loved the idea of being challenged to show our heartfelt appreciation and deep gratitude to the entire staff,” said Petersen, adding that Evergreen’s Class of 2022 participated in a gratitude card project for the Swedish Medical Center Foundation in November.
Evergreen’s Dawn Dunn collected all the cards at her house, kept a running tally on the total and delivered the cards to Huber.
Jocelyn Barber, president of the Evergreen chapter, noted that one Mercer Island nurse who works at Swedish Issaquah showed her appreciation for the National Charity League members by posting her card on a Facebook page for Island parents.
“Our healthcare workers are truly our heroes this year and have been doing a phenomenal job in keeping our community safe. It was so wonderful to collaborate with our fellow chapter,” said Barber, noting that the National Charity League is an organization featuring mothers and daughters focusing on philanthropy and leadership.
Jody Kris, one of the co-vice presidents of philanthropy for the Lake Washington chapter, said that partnering with Evergreen brought a creative project their way during the pandemic. Pre-COVID projects — led by Lake Washington president Patty Brown — would include serving meals to seniors, sorting food at pantries and more, but this year, projects from home are on the schedule.
“Hopefully the very sweet messages and artwork lifted their spirits and gave them a sense of ongoing appreciation during this long slog,” said Kris, adding that the two chapters are partners with the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation and they appreciate occasionally working together on projects.
Barber said that members show kindness toward others in the community through their involvement with the National Charity League while bonding with their daughters during philanthropy activities.
For more information, visit https://www.nationalcharityleague.org/