Elementary students in School District 83 filled the entrance of SASCU Recreation Centre with posters of love and appreciation, posters that filled the hearts of the nurses they were appreciating.
“I couldn’t read them without crying,” said Rosalyn Grady, Community Integrated Care coordinator with Interior Health, expressing her gratitude.
She said in speaking with a few of the other public health nurses who were present when Stan Thiessen, of Salmon Arm Recreation, gathered them together on June 7 in front of the posters, they expressed a range of reactions.
“They were touched, they felt honoured, joyful and very appreciative that they (the children) welcomed and appreciated the volunteers as well,” she said.
“One nurse said, ‘She felt happy and it made her feel cheery and bright.’ They felt like they were being recognized, which is very important.”
Mayor Alan Harrison and Couns. Debbie Cannon, Louise Wallace Richmond and Tim Lavery attended to join Thiessen in thanking the nurses and volunteers. Thiessen noted that Interior Health and the city have been working together to get the community through the pandemic. He said he wanted residents to be able to come through the doors of the rec centre to see the students’ posters supporting the work of the nurses and volunteers.
A lot of elementary schools come to the rec centre to swim, so staff wanted to let them know about the poster drive, he said.
He particularly liked the super-hero themes calling nurses “vaccine super heroes.”
Harrison also thanked the nurses on behalf of council and residents for their hard work.
“By far the majority of residents really appreciate your work – and you’re making a difference, so thank you so much.”
Grady said it’s been a long haul, as they began COVID-19 testing on March 13, 2020, and later vaccinating, in addition to all their regular duties in the communities.
“Add a pandemic into it and it’s like, wow. It’s huge what we do and it’s a very fun job.”
She said everyone has come together during the pandemic.
Grady adds that the volunteers who work at the vaccination centre are amazing and some physicians come in to help out.
She reiterated appreciation for the children’s artwork.
“Those posters are very touching, very emotional.”