Community steps up to provide meals to health care workers
Employees at MHP Medical Center in Shelbyville and Aperion Care in Waldron, who are in the thick of helping treat patients and protecting senior citizens from coronavirus, will be enjoying a fresh meal prepared by local restaurants courtesy of donations made by the community.
A GoFundMe drive was set up by Waldron resident Jason Yantiss’ family in an effort to both support local restaurants who have lost business due to the pandemic, and as a thank you to the health care professionals who are putting their lives at risk by going to work.
“It seemed like it was helping out two things at once,” Yantiss said. “People want to help but maybe don’t know how. It seemed like an easy way to give a little bit if they want to. It helps with restaurants and the folks at the front line. It’s a single meal (per employee) but it’s a nice thing to do.”
The separate drives raised $3,446 for employees at MHP and $210 for employees at Aperion Care, the senior citizens center that offers nursing and rehabilitation care as well as long-term living in Waldron.
Yantiss delivered an American Express card with $3,000 on it to Angela Gill of MHP on Wednesday and said he would deliver the remaining amount by check. He said that day he planned to deliver between $350 and $400 to Aperion at the end of the week, explaining that some people donated cash and he planned to add a personal donation as well.
On the GoFundMe pages, Yantiss asked for small donations to buy meals for the 1,200 employees at MHP and the Aperion employees. The administrations for both were allowed to purchase meals as needed.
“We didn’t know how or if people would be able to donate anything,” Yantiss said, adding that the idea originally came from his wife. “It gives them the opportunity to donate if they wanted to.”
Due to the pandemic, meals will have to be individually prepared and covered, he said on Wednesday.
The drive brought 72 donations between the two, along with those made in cash.
He was surprised not only by the number of donations, but the amount.
Given the state of the economy, he anticipated residents giving $5-10 apiece, but in many cases, it was more like $20 to $25. In several cases, residents gave $50 or $100.
“I was really impressed, and very grateful for all the folks that were able to give little bit,” he said.