Even though he’s on lockdown in the U.S., Shawn Mendes is doing his best to make sure Canadian health-care workers have a healthy supply of Tim Hortons coffee.
Julia Cass works as a screener in the Occupational Health department at Sunnybrook Hospital in northeast Toronto. When other hospital employees come in to get screened for COVID-19, she checks them in, and provides them with a mask, and offers them hand sanitizer. The shifts are long, and working at a hospital in the midst of a pandemic can be stressful.
So it was a welcome surprise on Wednesday when one of her co-workers went on their daily afternoon coffee run, to a Tim Hortons in one of the hospital buildings, and came back with $10 in gift cards and a thank-you note from Toronto-born superstar Mendes and his girlfriend, singer Camila Cabello.
A woman in the restaurant was carrying a big stack of envelopes and handing them out to employees, Cass’s co-worker told her. Inside were two Tim Hortons gift cards for $5 each, and a note from the couple.
“Thank you so much for your dedication to keeping us all safe,” it read. “We’re so grateful for all your hard work and want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
The cards were appreciated by the team, Cass told HuffPost Canada. Many of them are working long shifts, so coffee is a necessity. They always make an early afternoon coffee run, she joked, “because otherwise, we’re all dead inside.”
On Thursday, Cass got her own card — this time, the person handing them out came into her area of the hospital.
“I appreciated the gesture a lot,” she said. “It’s really sweet to be thought of.” So much of the praise has been going to doctors and nurses, who obviously deserve it, she said, but it was gratifying to have more administrative hospital work, like hers, recognized as well.
Cass added that if other people want to show hospital workers their appreciation, donating unused masks is still one of the most significant ways to help.
The couple, who are staying with Cabello’s family in Miami, sent similar cards to Toronto Western Hospital, as well.
Mendes’ endorsement deal with Tim Hortons is likely a part of the story, but even so, it’s hard to knock anything that has the potential to make medical workers’ lives easier right now.
In March, he donated $175,000 to Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.
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