By Tammy Schneider
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A message of thanks and appreciation was delivered to staff working at the Kincardine hospital and the Hawthorne Community Clinic on Mar. 1, when the hospital administration was presented with $5,000 in downtown Kincardine BIA bucks, to be distributed to the 200 staff members who have continued to provide quality healthcare to this community, throughout the pandemic.
The initiative was driven by NPX and the Kincardine BIA, with the goal of raising $3,500 to purchase BIA bucks for the 140 members of the hospital staff. NPX started the ball rolling with a $2,500 donation, and the BIA provided an additional $500 in “bucks” before opening the fundraiser to the public.
In just days, the next $500 was raised and donations continued to come in, so the organizers decided to include the 60-member staff at the Hawthorne Community Clinic.
“The idea actually came from a community member that had reached out to myself and Rick (Rick Clarke, BIA downtown development manager) to pitch this idea and see whether NPX and the BIA would be on board to support,” said Meagan Fair from NPX, in an earlier interview with the Kincardine Independent. “So we had a brainstorming session to see what we could do to make this happen. One of our values at NPX is to “Do Good Things” and that’s exactly what this was. A way to say thank you to our healthcare workers while supporting our local businesses by using BIA bucks. Seeing the impacts to our healthcare workers to the point of having emergency department closures is something that no one wants to see and I am just grateful for being able to do something to let them know that we care and we’re grateful for their sacrifice. We hope that this will bring a wave of positivity in a heavy world and possibly see other communities do that same.”
The gift benefits not only healthcare workers, but the retailers and restaurants that operate in the downtown, by directing $5,000 in revenue to these merchants and encouraging an additional 200 shoppers to visit stores and shop local.
The months following Christmas are often slow ones for the downtown, so this injection of spending comes at just the right time.