You’ve probably heard the popular ad campaign “America Runs on Dunkin”. Well, during the COVID-19 pandemic, America has largely run on our frontline healthcare workers, and a TSA employee wanted to honor them.
David Bruce from Boston’s Federal Air Marshal Service field office posted this simple message on Facebook:
During this pandemic, there is no one that is on the front lines today more than our hero nurses that report for their shifts and take care of our family members. If anyone would like to buy a cup of coffee for these heroes coming on or going off shift, please feel free to send a donation to my Venmo account. A $10 donation is greater than any meme saying thank you.
And what a response he got! He raised $1,000 and was able to give $20 gift cards to 50 nurses at Boston’s Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.
“I have always admired what medical staff do – day in and day out – without any fanfare,” said Bruce. “They just seem to show up every day and do incredible work. I wondered what was being done for them. In this current situation, the whole brunt of the mission seems to fall on medical staff. They are true quiet professionals. I wanted to do something that had some meaning. In the big scheme, a cup of coffee is nothing, but it is tangible, and it brings some comfort. And the $1,000 raised allowed me to purchase 50 $20 gift cards. That’s 10 days of coffee and a reminder that what they are doing is not unrecognized. The word hero is thrown around a lot these days, but they are the real deal.”
Bruce posted his message for his Facebook friends to see and received donations from around the country.
“People want the opportunity to support the frontlines but don’t always know how,” Bruce said. “This gave them a meaningful outlet, and they got the gratification of seeing nurses with cards and coffee from the money they donated. It’s real patriotism vs. plastic patriotism.”
Bruce called nursing a “selfless cause.”
“[These nurses] are reporting [to work] at great risk,” he said. “Like police and firefighters, they enter the scene while everyone else is going the other way.”
Bruce was overwhelmed by the amount of money people donated and said it restores his faith in humanity. He also gave money out of his own pocket, picking up the fee to transfer the money and rounding the out-of-pocket donations to an even $1,000.
He said donations keep coming. So, now he’s using the extra money to buy dinners for nurses at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
“At a time like this, it’s easy to climb into a hole and wait it out, but in reality, there has never been a better time to help out in your community,” said Bruce. “Find a worthy cause and do whatever you can. Reward good work when you see it. There are plenty of heroes to honor in this situation we find ourselves in. Charity starts at home, and it starts locally. Help your neighbors. Do something meaningful for those around you.”