Calhoun City Rotary Club

Calhoun City Rotary Club member Joe Carnaggio and Rotary Club President Danna Johnson discuss project to write letters for the 242 employees at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Calhoun, City on Thursday, October 15.

CALHOUN CITY • The Calhoun City Rotary Club is showing gratitude to their local front-line heroes by writing thank-you notes.

Rotary Club members are writing 242 cards for employees at the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Calhoun City, which includes personnel with the 25-bed acute care hospital, the 120-bed nursing home, the 24-hour emergency department, ambulance services, outpatient care, rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging, and radiology.

The project began Oct. 1 and is planned to wrap up Oct. 22.

Since starting the project, said the project has helped members recognize the role each front-line worker plays in the daily success of the hospital.

According to Rotary Club President Danna Johnson, the group tries to identify regularly local organizations and people who are working together to make the community better.

“This is teamwork,” she said. “When we think of the front-line people, we think of the nurses. It’s true the doctors, the physicians, the nurses are the ones who are in direct contact with the people, but everything is possible because of what’s behind the scenes.”

Rotary Club members Don Shipp, Donald Pendergrast, Hal Reese Jr., Jim Dobbs, Joe Carnaggio, John Harmon and Margaret Black met with Johnson last Thursday at Calhoun City Hall to write and sort the final batch of letters. The Calhoun City Rotary Club currently has 12 members; nine are participating in the letter-writing project.

“We want to thank the heroes who’ve been on the front-lines to help people, and ... as a club, we want to show them our appreciation of the work they are doing,” Pendergrast said.

This isn’t the first pandemic-related project the Calhoun City Rotary Club has organized. Each week during the summer, they joined area churches and individuals to distribute food to over 200 children in the community. The Rotary Club also donated over 400 coloring books and crayons to include with each food delivery.

The current project allows members to share heart-to-heart messages with front-line workers and recognize the level of teamwork needed at Baptist Memorial, Johnson said.

Reese said while COVID-19 has affected nearly every facet of everyone’s life, it has been front-line workers who have “had it pretty tough during this time.”

Thursday was the first opportunity Harmon, a Rotary Club member for approximately 20 years, had to take part in the letter writing program.

“During this time, you consider the health hazard they have in working through all this, but they continue to do their job no matter what,” Harmon said.

The project is also personal for Rotary Club members. Dobbs has had family in the hospital and nursing home and knows firsthand how much front-line workers take care of people.

“I just want every one of them to know that we care for them, and that we know that they have a very difficult job,” Dobbs said. “They’re doing great work in service of the community.”

danny.mcarthur@journalinc.com

Twitter: @Danny_McArthur_

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