St. Albans church brightens healthcare workers’ spirits with gift bags

Local News

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A church in our region made a special delivery Thursday taking gift bags to a local hospital to help lift the spirits of health care workers.

A team of volunteers from the First Presbyterian Church in St. Albans, WV visited Thomas Hospital to show gratitude to people leading the fight to save lives.

“It is touching our hearts and it is just a loving and caring time,” said Donna Merguc, a church member and volunteer.

They delivered small gift bags that contained snacks, lotion and other goodies. Volunteers from the church made 170 bags total. The church is calling the project “Fuel for the Fight.” Their goal is to give healthcare workers a boost in the fight against COVID-19.

“We know that they are tired and we appreciate them. This is probably going on for a while. But we care about them and we love them and we want them to know that,” Merguc said.

Healthcare workers receiving the bags said it made a difference.

“We feel like we’ve gone from heroes to zeros,” said Loretta White, Clinical Coordinator in the Emergency Room at Thomas Hospital’s Emergency Room. “With them just thinking about us in the ICU and Respiratory Therapy it brings back that we still are needed and people care, the community understands.”

Recipients said the items in the bags that meant the most were things you can’t buy at the store.

“What gets me is the handwritten notes,” White said. “They are just amazing and heartfelt. It is amazingly appreciated.”

Each bag was packed with a unique note and words of encouragement for people who are working on the front lines during the pandemic.

“We are still here. We are here for the patients. We are here for your mom and your dad and everyone’s loved ones and we are in it for the long haul and the hard fight,” White said.

The church is considering doing something similar in the future.

“We love you, we appreciate you and we want to recognize the hard work that you put in everyday,” said Rev. Mark Boyd, First Presbyterian Church in St. Albans. “We know it is exhausting work but we are glad people like you have answered the call to the ministry of healing.”

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