The history books will remember 2020 as a year of global struggle, monumental change, immense suffering and overwhelming uncertainty. And though all of that is absolutely true, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The year also witnessed amazing acts of thoughtfulness, dedication and generosity.
Throughout the pandemic, Augusta University has risen to the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic by providing innovative solutions to some of the toughest issues presented by COVID-19, supervising statewide testing initiatives and administering expert clinical care for those in the community suffering from the effects of the coronavirus. Often, this has come at a tremendous personal cost.
Long hours, difficult working conditions, isolation from family and friends and a seemingly endless barrage of new challenges have taxed the resolve of even the most dedicated, but the health care professionals at Augusta University Health who have been at the forefront of providing this care have remained strong in spite of the conditions, and it has not gone unnoticed.
While large corporate donations have provided much-needed financial support, it’s been the heartfelt community response that has most directly impacted the morale of the day-to-day operations.
Almost immediately, the community reached out for ways to help, initially with needed medical supplies, then with donations of meals, snacks and other thoughtful offerings.
Augusta National Golf Club
Bank of America
Community Foundation for the CSRA
Georgia Power Foundation
Peach Bowl, Inc.
South State Bank
“The support of the community is critical at this moment, as it lets our staff know they are not alone in this fight and that someone is thinking of them at a time that is very different and very difficult,” said Regina Winters of the Center for Patients and Families at Augusta University Health in August.
One of the most zealous supporters has been Brad Usry (BS ’82) of Fat Man’s Hospitality, an Augusta catering and café business.
Throughout the pandemic, Usry has helped convert community compassion into deliverable goodwill by accepting donations for meals, rounding off the donation with money of his own and then using his catering staff to make and distribute thousands of meals for Augusta University Health employees.
Fat Man’s was far from the only contributor, however. Front-line workers received meals from TBonz Steakhouse, Zaxby’s, Chick-fil-A, Clif bars, Krave bars, smoothies and any number of other contributions, including gift cards purchased from local restaurants and donated to the cause.
On Mother’s Day, Costa Layman Nursery even donated 1,000 flowers to help staff enjoy the holiday, which fell in the middle of so much chaos.
For more information about how you can make a difference, visit augusta.edu/giving/makeagift.