By Carla Bumstead


— Area residents have a lot on their minds right now. But showing appreciation to those working on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus) is extra important for many. Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous expressions of gratitude displaced locally. One such expression has been a City of Charlotte initiative known as the “white ribbon campaign.”

Charlotte Mayor Yvonne Ridge explained, in a post on the city website, that while most of us are staying home and staying safe, healthcare workers and first responders are rushing in to care for those sickened by the virus.

“Show your support by displaying a white ribbon outside your home, or place a white ribbon image in your front window, to let all individuals working to keep you safe know that you have their backs,” Ridge stated.

Ridge urges resident to not go out to buy supplies if they don’t already have white ribbons. Instead, people are encouraged to print an image of a white ribbon and put it up in a window or on a door. Under the COVID-19 section of the city website ( there is a downloadable pattern that can easily be printed and cut out. Those without printers at home can draw their own.

Creative expressions

Another way area residents are showing their appreciation is by creating drawings and other graphic displays designed to say “thank you” to area first responders and healthcare workers.

Christina Campbell, who serves as the marketing and communications manager for Sparrow Eaton Hospital (SEH), has both seen and collected numerous pieces of artwork that show how much the community cares.

“Any community effort that supports caregivers and first responders is a real testament to the fact that Charlotte is truly ‘rising’ to the occasion,” Campbell said. “When community members rally like this, it reminds people that we can still focus on pride and positivity and gratitude during a difficult time.”

For example, anonymous chalk drawings, with positive messages, have been spotted near the staff entrance to SEH, and over a dozen drawings and notes from area youngsters have been sent to workers.

“It is not just the individuals on the front lines that are being impacted; it is also every member of their family,” Campbells said. “These positive messages and words of encouragement mean an awful lot to these individuals and their entire families.”

Artwork expressing appreciation to caregivers and first responders can be emailed to AL!VE at The artwork will be shared with the Sparrow Eaton Hospital care team and may also be shared online. Pictures can also be posted on Facebook and Instagram. Posters are encouraged to tag AL!VE and the City of Charlotte and use the hashtag #MiCharlotteHealthHeroes.

Main photo: Reassuring signage has sprung up around the campuses of Sparrow Eaton Hospital in the form of yard signs stating “Our Community Appreciates all our Sparrow Eaton Hospital Caregivers!” The grassroots effort was jointly funded by the Sparrow Eaton Auxiliary as well as Sparrow Eaton board members, who personally contributed and generously took time to sprinkle the signs throughout the community.