The stress and strain healthcare workers have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant—and yet they’ve never been so needed. On Valentine’s Day, healthcare foundations and MNP are recognizing the importance of healthcare workers by sending out tasty chocolates and heartfelt messages from community members.
The initiative was the brainchild of Jessica Aldred, executive director of the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation. “In my short time with the foundation, it was so incredible to see the appreciation, gratitude, and affection our community was expressing to healthcare workers,” she says. “Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to express thanks.”
As the auditor on record, MNP has a strong relationship with the foundation. Knowing the firm’s commitment to supporting communities, Aldred reached out to see if they’d be interested in supporting the Valentine’s Day initiative.
“They jumped right on board and took it to another level, arranging for a well-loved local business to make the chocolate hearts that MNP then purchased. It really made it into a lovely concept,” she says.
In 2021, MNP sponsored the design and print of 1,000 valentines. Each card included heartfelt messages of thanks from donors as well as a chocolate heart from Hot Chocolates in Courtenay. The cards were delivered to healthcare workers in the Comox Valley on Valentine’s Day—from the lab technicians and pharmacy team to the people in emergency, ICU, and the cancer care clinic at the hospital received one.
This year, the initiative has grown to include the Nanaimo and Cowichan hospital foundations. MNP’s expanded support for the campaign ensures the foundations can participate while focusing their own funds on improving the quality of patient care. These foundations often fund small enhancements for patients such as gel mittens that can prevent fingernail loss when undergoing cancer treatment.
“This small gesture of kindness reminds staff that they are appreciated and supported during these difficult days of the pandemic,” says Janice Perrino, chief executive officer, Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation. “We can make this project happen because of your financial support, MNP. Thank you to all of you, from all of us.”
Tracey Brown at the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation explains why they wanted to participate in the initiative. “We’re all very grateful to our local healthcare teams here in Cowichan. They have met the challenge of working through a pandemic while in a building they’ve long outgrown and have provided excellent care for our community. Thank you!”
Aldred hopes the initiative will keep growing. “I think everybody benefits from knowing how appreciated they are,” she says.