Brookings Health System receives thousands of paper hearts to fill windows

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – We have an update to a story we brought you earlier this week. The Brookings Health System says they saw tremendous support from the community after the city encouraged people to create paper hearts that would hang in windows at the hospital.

More than 2,200 paper hearts.

After the City of Brookings put out a challenge to ‘Love Our Health Care Workers,’ the community delivered.

“It was very refreshing, with the pandemic, we’ve had highs and lows, and when those lows have hit, the community definitely has stepped in to show their support, and proved that they are part of our team as well,” Inpatient Clinical Coordinator Gabrielle Millard said.

The hearts now cover the windows in the inpatient care waiting room.

“I walk this hallways several times a day going from inpatient just to the elevators, I go up and down to the different units, and to see the colors compared to what it was before, of course with winter, it’s gloomy out, so the colors definitely add some cheerfulness to the area,” Millard said.

Even local students got involved.

“At Dakota Prairie they integrated this into the curriculum and the school counselor did this with her classes, she has 15 classes with 20 kids per class, they all cut out a heart, they read this cool book called ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today,’ and then wrote messages to healthcare workers as a way to fill their bucket and do the ripple effect of one kind thing leads to another,” COVID-19 communications and design specialist, City of Brookings, Kristina Lankow said.

Showing support one heart at a time.

“Things like ‘Love Our Health Care Workers,’ show we really are a community of togetherness and love and kindness and so thank you to everyone who participated,” Lankow said.

“To have people that aren’t even, don’t have members here in the hospital, that was an eye opener to see the support come through,” Millard said.

Originally they had anticipated needing about 1,000 hearts to even fill the area, and are thankful to have received many more than that.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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