Montreal Canadiens' Jeff Petry And Wife Fund Health-Care Workers' Meals

There are lots of ways to follow the Habs' player's lead. Here's how you can help.

For Canadian health-care professionals working non-stop to keep people safe, the COVID-19 pandemic has them up to their necks with immense workloads.

To honour the sacrifices they’re making, Montreal Canadiens’ player Jeff Petry decided to take Montreal’s front lines out for dinner. (Or lunch. Or whenever they could scarf food during their hectic schedules really.)

The Habs defenceman and his wife Julie Petry donated a combined $5,000 to open tabs at Montreal restaurants Mandy’s Gourmet Salads and Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce. Starting last Sunday, the city’s hungry nurses and doctors could call either restaurant and show their hospital ID for an allotted one free meal.

In an Instagram post thanking front-line workers, Petry highlighted how the city’s hospital staff cared for their three sons over the years.

“These selfless individuals are not only putting themselves at risk, but are also dealing with the same stresses that come along with these circumstances when they go home,” he wrote, adding a personal message for hospital workers: “We hope this meal give you a smile during this stressful time!”

The Petrys’ kind gesture definitely achieved that goal; two workers were all-smiles (under their masks, of course) when receiving a bulk salad order from Mandy’s.

In just a day, both restaurants maxed out the their tabs. Petry promised the tabs would be available again, as his family would partner with other Montreal restaurants over the coming weeks.

How Canadians can help health workers

Before helping a health professional out, make sure you’re already covering the basics. Social distancing, regular hand-washing, staying indoors, and following the rest of Health Canada’s recommendations makes their jobs easier. Underestimating COVID-19 can lead to overloading the health-care system and the people who keep it running.

Arrange for a delivery

If you’re looking to follow Petry’s lead, there are many ways to do it. Websites like Meal Train make it easy for groups to organize meal scheduling and delivery for someone who’d appreciate it.

Coffee is always a welcome treat, especially when one needs to get through long shifts. Hospital staff appreciate getting their morning, afternoon, evening cups of joe taken care of. You can either work with your favourite coffee shop or communicate with hospital workers directly to find out if they’d like a caffeine boost sometime soon.

Make a donation

Face masks are in short supply in hospitals around the country, several of which are looking for donations of protective personal equipment. Sunnybrook hospital and several others ask for those with unused personal protective equipment like N95 masks and surgical gowns to donate from their stockpiles; dentists have played a huge role in donating masks to a B.C. donation drive started by med students.

Lend a helping hand (safely)

Making friends in health care feel loved can extend to taking care of their off-shift needs. Running errands or arranging for child-care can take a load off their shoulders. Without violating social distancing, consider doing grocery drop-offs or paying for their babysitter.

Show your appreciation

Rounds of neighbourhood applause at timed intervals have been popular shows of support. An evening edition in Vancouver wowed with clanging pots and fireworks.

Virtual cheers are just as good too; consider texting clapping emojis, sending heartfelt messages, or being a shoulder to lean on if they need someone to talk to.

And while recognition can be helpful, workers have pointed out that they would also appreciate seeing support when they ask for better workplace conditions and fairer wages.

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