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Woman starts 'Adopt a Hospital Hero' to give back to healthcare workers

Ashley McDougal started a Facebook group to help healthcare workers. Members are dropping off what they call "sunshine" treats in hopes of bringing them joy.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A group of community members are coming together to support doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashley McDougal, a local real estate agent, said she came up with the idea after she saw clients in the medical field post on Facebook about what they were going through. 

She wanted to help make them feel loved and appreciated. She and several volunteers are dropping off “sunshine treats” to area hospitals in hopes of bringing a little sunshine to those hospital heroes.

“We want them to know how much we appreciate their daily decision of giving back to our community, doing what they are doing, and doing such a great job,” McDougal said.

The program is called “Adopt a Hospital Hero.” She started the Facebook group last week, and it already has over 100 members. 

McDougal said her goal is to get as many volunteers as she can to help surprise workers once per week with a special gift.

Credit: Ashley McDougal

So far, the group has dropped off goodie bags at Sentara Obici Hospital, CHKD in Norfolk and CHKD Urgent Care in Oyster Point.

“Each week we have a different theme and we are just trying to make them smile and try and touch as many people as we can,” she said.

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The other day, McDougal dropped off dozens of bags of lifesavers. She said it’s a simple gift that shows doctors and nurses that people care.

“We are putting them in the lounges, and it says, 'You’re a lifesaver. Thank you for all that you do.' We put little jokes. Just something to put a smile on their face while they are going through their weeks,” she explained.

It is all to show healthcare workers that they are loved and appreciated.

If you want to adopt a hospital hero, click here.

To donate for supplies, click here.

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