Brookings residents will have the opportunity to send a “Hug in a mug” to healthcare workers across the community by participating in the “Thanks a Latte – Perks for Healthcare Workers” campaign. The City of Brookings has partnered with Brookings Health System for round two of the Love our Healthcare Workers campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic and flu season has been a grind and left healthcare workers feeling a bit empty and decaf. The campaign was created to help refill their emotional “cups” with perks via handwritten messages from community members.
Inspirational cards (to be filled out by residents) will be distributed to local businesses, organizations and digitally across the community. These cards will allow residents to write a positive note to healthcare workers. Each note will include a sachet of coffee to say "thank you," and espresso how much the community appreciates them.
The first campaign, which took place in December of 2020, brought in over 2000 paper hearts and lifted spirits of local healthcare workers. Two years into the pandemic, healthcare workers are in the middle of a COVID-19 and influenza surge causing staff burnout and long and stressful days. The City decided it was time for another round of gratitude.
“A second campaign just makes sense right now in 2022,” says City of Brookings Public Information Officer Chelsie Bakken. “Healthcare workers need to hear and see ‘thank you’ for all they do in the community, and with the current COVID-19 numbers anything the community can do to communicate appreciation will be uplifting, and coffee definitely is that.” The City’s goal is to encourage 2022 cards to be completed by Brookings residents.
“The City’s December 2020 campaign was a tremendous morale booster for our team members and for staff at the local clinics, all of whom were fighting our largest local surge of COVID-19 cases at that time,” said Brookings Health System President and CEO Jason Merkley. “The omicron variant is creating an even larger wave of COVID-19 cases than what we saw in 2020. Any words of appreciation and thanks from the community will help our care teams endure this fight.”
Businesses, organizations, and community members who would like to participate can learn more by visiting www.cityofbrookings-sd.gov/thanksalatte or stopping by suite 230 of the City and County Government Center.