Shining a light on ‘selfless’ frontline heroes

In a time when nurses are working tirelessly and selflessly through the COVID-19 pandemic, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti called on residents to turn on their porch lights Thursday evening to “illuminate the fantastic job our nurses are doing.”

The call came during National Nursing Week 2020, which kicked off May 11 and runs through May 17. The week always takes place from the Monday to the Sunday of Florence Nightingale’s birthday of May 12. Nightingale is remembered as the founder of modern medicine.

Nursing Week 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth in 1820. This year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead — Nursing the World to Health and was developed by the International Council of Nurses to showcase how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. The World Health Organization proclaimed 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

“Never before have we needed them more,” said Scarpitti. “To all the brave nurses, we say thank you for all that you do, now as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic and every day.”

A dramatic image of a nurse was projected onto the Markham Civic Centre, a wonderful tribute to nurses during National Nursing Week.

“We have accepted more than 100, 000 units of PPE through the Markham Cares Donation Centre,” Scarpitti said. “We are greatly heartened by the outpouring of support from the community and we have received donations and offers of help well beyond Markham’s borders.”

The Markham Cares Donation Centre was launched a month ago in response to the urgent need in our community. It serves as a central receiving depot for personal and corporate donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and necessary COVID-19 related supplies. From people and families offering to share their personal supplies to large corporations and small businesses, the donations have made a big difference in the lives of many including our most vulnerable and health care heroes.

The generous donations supported Markham Stouffville Hospital, Participation House, Markhaven Home for Seniors, Sunrise of Unionville Senior Living, Bethany Lodge, Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, Union Villa Long-Term Care and the Eabametoong First Nation. While many of these facilities are still grappling with COVID-19 outbreaks, we are seeing ongoing signs of recovery such as at Participation House, which is reporting daily improvement in the health of its residents.

The Markham Cares Donation Centre located at 8100 Warden Avenue, will now shift to operating by appointment only. To drop off donations of PPE, call 905.477.2011.


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