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BakerCares Card Drive: Showing Gratitude and Lifting Spirits

Women's Initiative Newsletter
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by Liz McKee

During the pandemic we have seen the worst – confusion, pain, illness, divisiveness – but this global crisis has also brought out the very best in people too. This was evidenced at Baker Donelson through our BakerCares Card Drive. In March of this year, just as the country was shutting down, the Baker Donelson Women's Initiative reached out to several of our long term care clients, asking if there was something we could do to help as their residents were isolated from family friends, and their employees were working around the clock to ensure the safety and health of residents.  And, the card drive was born.

Over the course of one month, our people created and mailed more than 2,000 cards to lonely residents and hard-working employees of facilities across the Southeast.
Courtesy: Daisy C. F. Karlson, Associate, Birmingham

Over the course of one month, our people created and mailed more than 2,000 cards to lonely residents and hard-working employees of facilities across the Southeast. The response was overwhelming – we received words of appreciation from several recipients, noting that particularly for some residents, this was their only touchpoint from the outside world. But the ones who benefitted most may have been our very own employees, with many involving their children and grandchildren in the fun!

Fukiko Parungao, a legal secretary in our Atlanta office, says her family enjoyed decorating and sending the cards, calling the chance to give back a "wonderful opportunity."

The "big kids" also got in on the fun. Christy Tosh Crider, a Nashville-based shareholder, and her then high-school senior, Lydia, created dozens of handmade cards.

And Kelly Manry, a legal secretary in our Atlanta office, partnered with her daughter Maci, a student at Auburn University, for the card-writing project. Kelly said it was a great way to pass the time as Maci adjusted to virtual classes due to the pandemic.

This was not just a project for the little ones. Our employees dusted off their crayons, markers and graphic design skills to create joy for these residents and their caregivers. New Orleans secretary Kathleen Miller may have set a record for the number of original cards she created and sent, like this one she sent to a caregiver in a Kentucky center.

It was a pleasure to be a small light for these residents and caregivers during what was likely a very dark time for many.

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