Valentine’s Day was necessarily low-key for all of us this year because of COVID, but those in the middle of a hospital stay had it even worse. Two Siena nursing students came up with a great way to brighten their holiday a bit.
Chloe Hallion ’23 and Sheri-Ann Schmitz ’23 saw on Instagram an encouragement to share love with others on Feb. 14, so they hatched a plan. They bought 100 Valentine cards and set about writing messages of hope and friendship to be delivered to patients at Albany Medical Center.
“We wanted to make the kids happy. Everyone is going through such tough times right now and to be in the hospital on top of that is a lot to deal with,” said Hallion. “We decided we wanted to do something to help.”
“We wanted to send Valentine's Day cards to the children at Albany Med to hopefully put smiles on their faces,” said Schmitz. “I know that being in the hospital can be hard no matter the reason they're there, not just on the patient but also on their families. I thought sending them something as simple as a card to let them know that we're thinking of them would hopefully bring a little spot of happiness to their day!”
Hallion’s boyfriend John Mills is a med student at Albany Medical College and as such had access to the hospital. His first stop was a delivery at the pediatric ward.
Hallion pointed out that even if the kids had been in school, there would have been no Valentine’s party – most schools nixed them this year in the name of pandemic safety.
Once the kids got their share of cards, the remainder were delivered to patients on other wards.
“Our patients at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med greatly appreciate the Siena nursing students’ thoughtful gesture,” said a representative from the Child Life Team. “It was kind of them to send festive Valentine's Day cards to help brighten their hospital stay.”