Called "hero healing kits," the care packages consist of things like hand lotion, Gold Bond, gum, and chapstick.
A second-year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore is teaming up with her rottweiler Loki to deliver care packages for health care workers battling COVID-19 in Maryland hospitals.
Caroline Benzel and the 2-year-old therapy dog were already spending tons of time in the hospital visiting patients even before the coronavirus outbreak began. But after the risk to catch the virus intensified, Benzel and Loki were "pulled from the front lines" and started FaceTiming with both nurses and patients instead.
Courtesy of Facebook
"Everyone was wearing PPE 24/7 and because of that, they were getting rashes and irritation from wearing masks," she told WJLA.
So Benzel set to work creating "hero healing kits" (#herohealingkits), which are made up of things that can provide relief or comfort to workers, like hand lotion, Gold Bond, gum, and chapstick. She even set up an Amazon Wishlist to solicit the help of others.
"So far we have raised over 1,400 total kits, but are closer to +1,600 incomplete kits," Benzel posted on Loki's Facebook page on April 11. "The donations keep coming in!! Needless to say, we are blown away by the kindness and generosity of people. We will be distributing the majority of these to 4 different hospitals over the next week. AND THAT IS JUST THE BEGINNING."
Benzel and Loki have started delivering the care packages to grateful health care workers on the front lines, this week. But for them, there's a bigger goal at play:
"We also have inspired others to do similar projects in NJ, NC, and other parts of Maryland," she said. "THIS was the dream, and it is coming to fruition: not only to help frontline workers/first responders, but to inspire others to do the same in their counties and states for their respective hospitals."
Do you want to help the effort? Donate items for the hero healing kits via her Amazon Wishlist or find other communities doing the same thing through #herohealingkits.