BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A fundraising initiative that started back in 2016 was revived Tuesday, May 19 and given a new name to support front-line workers. It’s called Viral Positivity and the non-profit has already raised over $23,000.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore and Kenny Nguyen announced the project Tuesday at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. This initiative is all about sharing positive thoughts and lifting up the healthcare workers giving out front-line care every day.
Moore says he met Nguyen in 2016 when he led an initiative to help first responders. He says they chose to revive this campaign after hearing about what front liners and their families face daily.
Leaders of this non-profit want to point out the competition right now is this virus. That’s why this is a partnership between every local hospital in the Baton Rouge area. To help, visit shareviralpositivity.com to make a donation; every penny will be distributed to the hospitals evenly through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF).
There is no administrative cost, meaning every dollar goes to area hospitals like Baton Rouge General, Our Lady of the Lake, and Woman’s Hospital. Then, the hospital will decide how they want to use the money. Nguyen says each hospital has individual needs, so they should be able to decide how to use the money.
Organizers say one hospital has plans to build picnic tables for staff, while another plans to buy additional personal protective gear.
Hospital leaders say their team members are tired, but their patients and initiatives like this keep them going.
"We have to do what we do best in Louisiana and that wraps our community around them,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “We are so excited and humbled to be a part of this journey with the community. It’s just such an amazing sense of pride that you have in the place that you live in when you see people that are willing to step up.”
The goal is to raise $50,000. Healthcare leaders say fighting this disease is a marathon and this initiative helps get them through it.
“I was reminded by one of my colleagues down in New Orleans who talked about the back-line caregivers and the back-line caregivers being the community. I cannot thank the community enough and what it’s meant to all of us in this fight going forward,” said Scott Wester, president and CEO of OLOL.
“Please go to the website and share a note. It’s a section in there that says, ‘My name is, and I would like to share this message with healthcare workers.' Share a note please, because we want these healthcare workers to know how much we love them and support them and this positivity doesn’t come through without them,” Nguyen said.
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