Once COVID-19 started to inundate our healthcare systems, I decided I wanted to try to help support fellow workers at UMMHC in any way that I could. So I was inspired to collect donations from my work family on 4East for what I've been calling my COVID Power Box project. Each Power Box contains a variety of individualized snack packages (varying from gum, mints, and candy to granola bars, pretzels, cracker packages, and chips). Fruits (such as apples, oranges, and bananas) have also been included, along with fluids (such as Powerade, Gatorade, Vitamin waters, iced teas, etc.). The idea is that each snack/drink can be wiped down prior to consumption, and is easy to have on-the-go.
I distributed the first round of COVID Power Boxes to the first 3 units at UMMHC to be designated as COVID units on the University campus, as well as the ER. After having such success with the first round, one of my 4East coworkers and I were able to give a second round of baskets to these units. These were funded by our family and friends. Each one bigger than the first! Funds continued coming in after that, so I decided to open the project up to the public via Facebook/Instagram with a new goal of extending the COVID Power Boxes out to as many people as I could throughout the hospital. For the third round of Power Boxes, I was able to create over 33 Boxes, giving one to (almost) each hospital unit, and as many ancillary staff members that I could afford (housekeeping, dietary, pharmacy, phlebotomy, respiratory therapists, etc.). The list of departments/groups of people in this institution that I could give to seems endless, and I have since created over 10 more boxes to add to the next round of giving! We're all in the unknown, uncertain of when this pandemic will end. We're all in this fight together. Every person working for UMMHC (as well as healthcare professionals around the world) deserves a HUGE amount of credit just by walking in the door each shift. Providing a snack or a drink feels like the least I can do.
When I started this project, I had no idea what it would blossom into. Thanks to all who have spread the word and previously donated, what started as an opportunity to extend kindness to some has turned into an opportunity to extend kindness to many.... Acts of kindness are what keeps this world going. So I want to keep going.
My plan is to keep distributing Power Boxes every week to two weeks until funds run dry! My hope is to keep this going well past this COVID surge-- the battle won't be over yet.
Feel free to head to my social media pages to see how far this project has already spread! Stay tuned for what's next.
Stay safe. Have hope.
Brianna Fleming, RN SCRN