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Letters to Frontliners

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MADE WITH LOVE Children send their handmade notes to the frontliners

By Jane Kingsu Cheng

The battle against Covid-19 is still ongoing. Experts reveal that it might even last until the end of the year as the vaccine is nowhere in sight. Most of us are cooped up at home, but what about our frontliners who brave the outdoors every day? 

Thirty-seven-year-old Candice Fong feels the burden that her frontliner friends have to carry on a daily basis, giving her an idea of the fear and anxiety that surrounds them every day. “They are exhausted, supplies are fast depleting, fellow workers are becoming PUM/PUIs with some of their close colleagues succumbing to the virus. The fear of being infected surrounds them each day,” says the mother-of-two.

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Say it with art

The mompreneur behind international childcare cleaning brand Nimble, Candice wanted to help make things a little better for those who are out in the field. All the proceeds of sales went to the purchase of liquid hand soap and isopropyl alcohol for donation. An extra touch was her idea to stick letters written by children onto the bottles of liquid soap and alcohol. “From a small project involving the families supporting the brand along with a few friends, the word spread to various communities and social groups. “Soon enough, I was receiving hundreds of letters from Filipinos in far flung provinces and around the world,” she shares.
20C7A52C-0998-4D0E-831F-EA274FCC764ESTICKY NOTES Donations with heartwarming  letters

Because of the overwhelming support, this initiative has evolved into a bigger project, “Love Letter to Frontliners,” that’s giving the children an opportunity to help in their own little ways. “Parents are doing the best they can to bring light to the current situation and to provide creative outlets for their children to express their thoughts and feelings during this time. Through crayons, colored pens, paint, and paper, children are able to convey their feelings and write words of encouragement to our frontliners,” says Candice.
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More than just letters

At the same time, frontliners get to visit the Instagram account @letterstofrontliners whenever they need to get their spirits up—a much needed daily dose of inspiration for those who need it. Written by children as a way of showing their gratitude to all the frontliners, simple notes such as “Thank you for your selfless acts and sacrifice for us,” “Be Strong, Be Brave, Be Fearless, You are Never Alone,” or “Ikaw ang Aking Superhero” never fail to make their days better. Candice adds, “Some children have sent in videos, songs, poems, and dance numbers that they have performed for our Covid heroes.”

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To date, her efforts have expanded to sending pineapples to frontliners for their daily healthy dose of vitamin C, cookies designed with words of thanks, meal packs with love letters attached, and laundry detergent to wash their personal protection equipment (PPEs). “We also just recently completed a Tribute to Modern Day Heroes’ music video with a compilation of love letters along with clips of children and adults singing along to the song, ‘Heal the World.’” 

Even her children, Colin, 7 years old, and Connor, 4 years old, help out. “It’s so delightful to see my own kids getting involved. My sons help out by producing daily artworks and helping me apply sticker labels on the alcohol and soap bottles. My eldest son also used a portion of his savings to purchase some PPEs and cookies for our healthcare heroes.”

Keep them coming

Candice continues her efforts because of the many letters she gets.

“I’ve received touching messages from cancer survivors, kids with special needs, students, teachers, and children of frontliners themselves honoring our modern-day heroes and expressing their thanks for providing a channel for them to reach the frontliners,” she says.

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Another reason is the heartwarming feedback she gets from the frontliners, such as healthcare workers, garbage collectors, policemen, soldiers, street sweepers, grocery workers, third party drivers, and many more.  One of the most memorable is from a nurse, “Nakakataba po ng puso yung mga messages, habang nagsasabon ka ng kamay, maaalala mo yung pictures at kung bakit ka lumalaban sa Covid at para sa kanila, sa future nila.” 

These are what keeps Candice going, sending out support to the hospitals such as Sta. Ana Hospital, Nephrology Center of Pasig, Mandaluyong City Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, National Children’s Hospital, Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center, and Amang Rodriguez Hospital.

She doesn’t stop there. She also adds that all their letters and donations are sent out by delivery guys they book. “For every dispatch, we provide these drivers with packed meals with letters attached, drinks, and isopropyl alcohol as they are regularly handling packages and the long hours on the road are tiring for them,” she shares. 

The Instagram account @letterstofrontliners is updated every day with letters from all over the world, a testament that we are all in this together. “These letters show our frontliners that we are truly behind them both in words and action, by sending our letters and staying at home. It sends the message that even though we stand apart in the confines of our households, we stand united in our service to them.”

*Send your letters to loveletterstofrontliners@gmail.com, or send a message to their Instagram account @loveletterstofrontliners


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/05/02/letters-to-frontliners/)

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