May 18, 2020
The word hero traditionally triggered thoughts of invincible figures in capes, masks, spandex suits with death-defying superpowers, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it means something much more.
Today, heroes wear scrubs and white lab coats. They are clothed in stethoscopes pulling extra shifts, without even stopping to eat or rest their eyes. They are healthcare workers putting their own lives at risk to protect our loved ones from an unruly virus – and they’re doing it all without an expectation of anything in return.
But this is Indiana – a state defined by hospitality and gratitude – especially in times of hardship. The response from our corporate partners to help support our community’s needs related to the health and economic consequences of COVID-19 has been inspiring, but their partnership and donations to United Way relief efforts only capture a small piece of the ways they have given back to Central Indiana.
Longtime United Way partner, Emmis Communication, and their signature station, WIBC, stepped up to create “Hoosiers Helping Heroes” with help from morning show host, Tony Katz.
A simple idea to adopt one hospital quickly turned into a movement of appreciation to those on the frontlines by delivering meals, food, and snacks to healthcare workers across the region.
“It’s Central Indiana saying thank you to the heroes of Central Indiana,” Katz said. “The orderlies, the hospital staff, the house-keeping, the nurses, the doctors at all the hospitals in the area who have been working overtime. Their jobs are difficult and require a lot of sleepless nights. We want to keep them fed, keep them focused, and make sure they know we’re thankful.”
WIBC partnered with Kahlo Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to help make deliveries to local hospitals, and local businesses like RIVET Coffee, Hoosier Warrior Coffee, Puccini’s Pizza & Pasta, and Kroger have all made donations, as well.
Katz began making deliveries personally once a week. Visits to Eskenazi gave him a glimpse of how these heroes have adjusted their daily lives to help fight the pandemic.
“Every single one of our staff members has stepped up. We’ve each done it all. We’ve taken great care of patients,” said Lee Ann Blue, Chief Nursing Officer at Eskenazi . “Our outcomes have been really good, because everybody has worked together. Seeing people get better and go home [feels] really good.”
That is exactly what makes them heroes. Rushing in to help others in the face of danger, caring about the well-being and safety of their neighbors, even if it means risking their own health to do so.
“Any time you can help, do it,” Katz said. “It’s about making sure they know we see them, and we appreciate them. We should help those who are taking care of the ones that we love.”
If you’re interested in showing appreciation to Central Indiana healthcare heroes, you can join Emmis by filling out the “Hoosiers Helping Heroes” form to get involved.