A Message from Grateful Donors – The Nichols Family

A Note from Sheila Nichols, sister of Hutchinson Health’s Dr. Stacy Nichols

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

~ Sheila Nichols

Donna Nichols

On March 13th we took our parents out of their senior apartment and moved them into our house in Plymouth.  All four kids felt this was imperative as we had seen the heartbreaking photos of Seattle where the seniors were locked inside with no visitors.  Our timing was early, and a bit of a surprise to our parents.  We said to each other that it was better early as by the time it was too late, it was way too late.  We were able to take their recliners, clothes, meds, etc.  And, gave us enough time to return for forgotten items while we could still move freely about the building.  Due to Mom and Dad (Donna and Steve Nichols) underlying health issues at 87 and 88 years old, we knew that COVID 19 would not be kind to them.  We quarantined ourselves starting that day and have had everything delivered to us since then.

Watching the news on the television is daunting.  You can see too much, yet you cannot turn away.  We sit here in our big, comfortable house.  We are warm, we are fed, we are among loved ones, yet the world seems to be turning upside down.  We enjoy the bald eagle and swans in the back yard, seeing the neighbor kids play in the street.  It all seems so surreal – can it be true?  The more we watch, the more helpless we felt.  Mom and Dad remember WWII when they were children.  They tell of picking milkweed pods and cattails to make life preservers for the sailors.  They talk about saving and flattening aluminum cans, silver gum wrappers and victory gardens.  It changed their world forever, as this will change ours.

Steve Nichols

Then we learn of the shortage of PPE, which should never happen in the greatest country in the world.  But, it has.  We not only have healthcare workers without protection, but we have new warriors out there – shopping, selling and delivering – with no protection.  When we heard about organizations asking for homemade masks we knew this was something we could do.  We immediately rallied behind the initiative and cleaned out our own stashes of cotton fabric and elastic.  We quickly ordered another sewing machine and more materials on the internet.  We began our own war effort in our dining room in Plymouth.  Dad carefully cuts the elastic to the correct length.  Mom sews the masks from the fabric I have cut – alternating from the sewing machine to resting her legs while she turns them inside out.  The count is up to 500 and still going strong.  New fabric arrives weekly – giving us something to look forward to.  We love the pictures of friends and healthcare workers wearing the masks.  It gives us joy to see that we are making a tiny difference.

My sister, Dr. Stacy Nichols, works for Hutchinson Health.  She told us that the Foundation had started collecting masks for use in non patient facing positions and for all people entering the nursing homes.  They were in need.  We were honored to be able to support such a wonderful organization, and one that is so close to our hearts – part of the family. Recognizing that it was probably more difficult to get donations outside of the city; yet the need might be even greater due to the limited supply. Supporting Stacy made us proud.  We have focused our donation efforts on organizations that we as a family touch personally.

There are fancier masks out there, but we are staying with what we know. We sew every day, but not all day.  We enjoying seeing the piles grow and have a sense of accomplishment when we can ship them out.  But, the most joy is seeing a picture of someone actually wearing the mask.  Our little way to help.

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

Speak Your Mind

*