London

Londoners deliver meals and 'thank you' messages to front line workers

The “London’s Essential Workers’ Angel Project” has paired up nurses, doctors and other front line workers with volunteers who want to express their gratitude for the work done during the pandemic. 

London's Essential Workers' Angel Project started on social media and is going strong

Deanna Ronson, founder of the “London’s Essential Workers’ Angel Project” (left), and recipient Amanda Vaccarello, 27, a nurse at the London Health Sciences Centre. (Submitted)

Some health care workers in London have been surprised by a grassroots movement that sees volunteers cook them meals and bring them thank you cards. 

The London's Essential Workers' Angel Project has paired up nurses, doctors and other front line workers with volunteers who want to express their gratitude for the work done during the pandemic. 

So far, 18 people have signed up to show they care and recipient Amanda Vaccarello, a nurse at the London Health Science Centre, said being matched with one of these volunteers was "amazing."

She received a meal from a volunteer and a note expressing appreciation for the job she does.

"This wonderful woman prepared a meal and a little lunch on the side," Vaccarello said. "It was amazing to see someone care so much about what you do."

The "London's Essential Workers' Angel Project" is a Facebook group administered by Deanna Ronson, a resident in the city.

Ronson said she's been wanting to give back to frontline and essential workers, the same way other organizations have earlier in the pandemic.

"I've seen so many wonderful grassroot organizations spring up, for instance 'Canada Sews London-Middlesex,' a large group of Londoners who were sewing masks for frontline workers," Ronson said.

"I wanted to do something equally valuable."

She put the call out on Facebook and has since been pairing up a worker with a volunteer, coordinating delivery instructions that follow COVID-19 safety protocols. 

"The initial response to the Angel Project has been amazing," Ronson said. 

Acts of kindness to continue

Michelle Bryson, 31, volunteered with the project the first day it launched, seeing it as an opportunity to support her community.

She'd just had a baby and was grateful for the help she received from her midwife and obstetrician, as well as the volunteers and nurses that helped her family while her grandmother went into hospice, at the beginning of the pandemic. 

"No one knew what was going on and they were still there helping as much as they could," Bryson said.

"So, just to give back to those essential workers and people who are working in the grocery store everyday, and [putting] themselves out there is just a total blessing for the rest of us."

There's no end-date in sight for the London's Essential Workers' Angel Project. Ronson said she'll continue to organize so long as the requests come in and volunteers are available to help.

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