The COVID-19 Pandemic has hit everywhere hard, and Blackford County is no exception. Financially speaking, Blackford County is one of the poorest Counties in the state of Indiana, an issue that certainly hasn’t been helped by the complications brought on by the viral outbreak. While financially poor, Blackford County is spiritually wealthy, as is evidenced by the number of churches and places of worship throughout the county. 

One of these churches, Grace United Methodist Church, struck upon a brilliant idea to help out the community and thank many of those who have put their lives on the line in the struggle against COVID. During a recent meeting of church officials, they were trying to think of something they could do to help out. When it suddenly dawned upon someone, “We could give every healthcare worker in Blackford County a gift card to a locally owned business.” This brilliant, perhaps “Divinely Inspired,” idea has now been carried out with the efforts of Grace United Methodist Church Pastor, the Reverend Curt Hunt, and Chair of Missions, Patty Poulson. 

Over the past week or so, Poulson and Hunt have traveled to all of the healthcare facilities in Blackford County presenting the gift cards to 453 healthcare workers throughout the county. These include: 253 hospital staff, EMS, and Doctors Lee, Stewart, and Borgenheimer of the Blackford Rural Heath Clinic at IU Blackford Hospital; 60 workers at Miller’s Merry Manor; 40 workers at Bridgewater Nursing Home; 20 workers at Crown Pointe, 15 workers at Hearts With Integrity Home Healthcare; 18 local doctors and their staff including Doctors Lori and Milus Skidmore of Montpelier, and Doctor Jennifer Clamme of Hartford City; 25 workers of the Hartford City Fire Department; and 22 workers at the Montpelier Volunteer Fire Department.

Each of these 453 healthcare workers received a $10.00 gift card to one of the following locally owned businesses: Amazing Glaze Bakery, Who’s Your Coffee, and Common Grounds in Hartford City; and Carrie’s Restaurant and Frosty’s in Montpelier. “This is our way of showing our appreciation to our healthcare workers for all they have done for us during the Pandemic,” stated Poulson. “This will also benefit the participating locally owned businesses. Perhaps they will receive some new customers by encouraging some of our healthcare workers to try out a place they may have never tried before,” she continued.

As people are vaccinated, and we begin to slowly work our way back from the effects of the virus, acts such as this show Blackford County’s appreciation for what these workers had to go through, and our commitment to working together towards a brighter future. Who knows, it may even inspire other organizations to find little things they can do to show their appreciation while also benefiting the community.

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