For over five months now, doctors, nurses, and medical workers have worked day-in and day-out to keep us all safe, serving as true heroes for their communities and for their nation during the pandemic. While many of us are beginning to return to Gainesville and getting back into an almost-typical routine, plus face masks and social distancing, it is crucial that we remain diligent in gratitude for these essential workers. They continue to go beyond what is expected by sacrificing their time and putting their safety on the line.
The University of Florida Homecoming & Gator Growl team fundraised to provide a catering service for essential workers at UF Health Shands Hospital. In order to also support local businesses, we partnered with Sababa to deliver meals during the month of August. We all must do our part in making essential employees’ lives a little bit easier, and with this, we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to improving the Gator community one step at a time.
Our team set out with a goal to raise $500, and we were blown away by the support of friends, family, and the Gator Nation as a whole. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to collect $1,040, which translated into 100 meals being provided to essential workers at UF Health Shands. Cai Baralt, the Associate Producer of Finance for Gator Growl, helped to organize this event. He and his team picked up the meals and delivered them to the Shands emergency room where they were able to thank some of the nurses in person.
“It was an incredibly rewarding experience. The ER nurses have worked so hard during the last 6 months, even more so than normal. We are incredibly lucky to have such great people in our community willing to sacrifice for us,” Baralt said.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that “in all kinds of weather, we all stick together.” No matter what the Fall semester or current season may bring, times like these remind us of the value of community. The HC&GG team will never be able to truly express how much we admire and appreciate the selflessness of our local healthcare workers, but could not be more proud to call them a part of this family. The Gator growls for you.