University of Kentucky launches “Heart-2-Heart” to support healthcare workers

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The University of Kentucky Colleges of Nursing and Agriculture, Food, and Environment are launching “Heart-2-Heart,” a letter writing campaign to thank and support healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19.

“Day-in and day-out, health care workers risk their own lives to provide care to patients fighting COVID-19.  The weight of that risk combined with witnessing constant suffering is enough to take a toll even on the strongest among us,” Camille Burnett, professor at UK College of Nursing and founder of Heart-2-Heart, said, “The Heart-2-Heart campaign is a way for us to compassionately say, we see you and are with you. It is a simple act of kindness to help replenish and give strength to our healthcare workers by turning the tables and offering them care through messages of gratitude and hope.”

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“4-H members in Kentucky are staying healthy at home but are looking for ways to support friends, family, and their communities,” said Mark Mains, assistant director for 4-H Youth Development. “This partnership allows our youth to have an active way to support the front-line health care workers by providing valuable moral support and encouragement. 4-H members are connected to medical professionals and both are able to benefit.”

The colleges are asking people to write letters, make cards, draw pictures or send any messages of comfort and hope.

Guidelines:

  • First names and last initial only
  • No last names and no addresses
  • Can identify your occupation or other qualifier (i.e. UK nursing student, 5th grade student, teacher, UK employee, small business owner)
  • Can identify your county and state

You can drop off your letters beginning Friday, April 24th at these Lexington locations:

You can drop off your letters starting Friday, April 24 in boxes outside these Lexington locations:

  • Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Harry Sykes Way
  • Meadowthorpe Elementary, 710 N Forbes Rd.
  • Sandersville Elementary, 3025 Sandersville Rd.
  • Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, 930 Jouett Creek Rd.
  • Tates Creek Middle School, 1105 Centre Pkwy
  • James Lane Allen Elementary, 1901 Appomattox Rd
  • Southern Elementary, 340 Wilson Downing Rd. (behind the building by the NTI packet drop off)

The letters will be picked up Friday and then mailed out to healthcare workers throughout Kentucky and across the United States.

Outside of the state, the letters will be sent to areas COVID-19 has hit especially hard, including Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York, University Medical Center New Orleans in Louisiana and TCF Regional Medical Center in Michigan.

“The College of Nursing is proud to partner with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment for a heartfelt project that we hope will have a meaningful impact on the lives of health care workers,” said Burnett.  “By partnering with CAFE, we’re able to tap-in to an enormous outreach network that is willing and ready to offer support to those fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.”

The colleges are working on expanding the campaign beyond Fayette County through county offices of the UK Cooperative Extension Service so people in other counties can drop off letters at locations closer to them.

The campaign organizers say it will continue until it’s no longer needed.

For questions or more information on how to can participate in Heart-2-Heart, email heart2heart@uky.edu.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!