Bridget Kennedy and her 4-year-old son slip into the yard with all the stealth they can muster. A nearby construction crew toils away. Mason is excited to be on the mission. His exuberance might give up the game.
Kennedy is a nurse practitioner in the pulmonology program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Her husband, Stephen, is a pediatric hospitalist. He is executing a similar assignment.
They are delivering yard signs.
But really more than that.
They are delivering recognition, buoying spirits and creating camaraderie.
The signs read “Thank you healthcare workers. We see you. We love you.” on the front.
But the Kennedys wanted more than a one-off recognition of a colleague, so they initiated a challenge to pay it forward. They ask each person who receives a sign to surreptitiously move it to a co-workers’ yard a day or two later. The back of the sign reads:
Someone thinks you are amazing! Please keep this sign in your yard for 24-48 hrs. Take a picture with this sign and post on social media with the # below. Then move to another JHACH team member’s yard. Let’s keep it going!
The signs have traveled throughout the Tampa Bay region both physically and virtually. Look for them in your neighborhood or through #HealthCareHeroes #AllChildrens #SignSwap #PayItForward #InThisTogether.
“We were inspired to do this because we realized that recognition from your peers is what counts,” Bridget says. “We have all been under tremendous stress with figuring out our ‘new normal’ whether it is working from home, working shifts in the hospital, suddenly juggling home parenting with your career and everyone feeling overwhelmed and unsure they're doing the best. We wanted to say simply, ‘You ARE. You ARE amazing. What you did prior to this, what you are doing now, does NOT go unnoticed.’ Everyone works hard and everyone should be proud. It’s a reminder that your friends and peers know and see you.”