Acts of kindness sprouting up all over Wellington County

CENTRE WELLINGTON – One positive to come out of the current COVID-19 crisis is the abundance of good news stories popping up across the county.

From touching tributes for health care workers to inspirational messages for the most vulnerable and isolated, Wellington residents have responded to the pandemic with resiliency, kindness and generosity.

“I know that people are looking out for each other and I think that’s a tremendous thing,” said Senator Rob Black of Centre Wellington.

In Fergus, for example, someone has started a collection of painted stones in front of Groves Memorial Community Hospital on Union Street.

Appreciative – From left are Groves hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Doug Roach, chief nursing executive Jill Schitka and registered nurse Chelsea Miller. Submitted photo


The rocks “commemorate the wonderful work the frontline workers are and have done through the years – to say nothing about the work they have performed during this COVID-19 crisis,” said local freelance photographer Bill Longshaw.

“Our thoughts go out to them. They are heroes, like the rock in the middle says.”

A similar display has been set up at the Wellington Terrace nursing home in Aboyne.


Gratitude rocks were left outside the staff entrance of the Wellington Terrace on March 30.
Photo by Kelly Waterhouse

Jill Schitka, chief nursing executive with the Wellington Health Care Alliance, which includes hospitals in Fergus, Mount Forest and Palmerston, said local health care workers are thankful for the support.

“The staff and physicians, at all of our hospital sites appreciate the tremendous support they are receiving from our communities.” said Schitka, also VP of patient services.

“Whether it is through community donations of PPE or the gratitude gardens that are popping up around our facilities, all of these efforts help to lift staff spirits.”

Schitka added, “We too would like to thank our EMS partners, along with all of the service workers in our communities keeping our grocery stores, gas stations and drive-thrus open (to name just a few).

“We are all rising to this challenge.”

Black said he too has been impressed by the generosity of residents across Wellington County, which he noted was evident even during a routine trip – if there is such a thing these days – to a local grocery store.

“It’ll get harder going forward, so I think’s it’s important we are kind to one another,” he told the Advertiser on March 26.

The senator implored county residents to heed the advice of local health professionals – including social distancing, hand washing and staying at home whenever possible – in order to help fight the spread of COVID-19, but also to help end isolation requirements as soon as possible.

“We’re all going through this new reality,” Black said.

“I’m not sure what things will look like on the other side, but together we’ll get there and we’ll all get through it.”

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