As “leaders in learning,” Crane School District’s mission is to foster a community of change-makers through innovative problem-solving; and since COVID-19 shook up the world, Crane has been doing exactly that.

Several of the district’s schools have participated in the #GiveBack Challenge, issued by H.L. Suverkrup Elementary School Principal Trish Valentin to equip local healthcare providers with hand sanitizer and other essential supplies sitting untouched in classrooms since school closures commenced last month. But the giving back doesn’t stop there.

Together with a few school mascots, Crane staff gathered — at six feet apart — outside Yuma Regional Medical Center Monday evening to cheer on the hospital’s staff during their shift changes, while two SUVs and a truck loaded with snacks and drinks collected by teachers dropped off a bounty of grab-and-go goods to be distributed to YRMC’s essential workers.

The district-wide project, spearheaded by Valentin, evolved from a recent conversation with one of Valentin’s staff.

“I have a teacher whose wife works at the hospital, and through him I found out that when the floor nurses go into their area, they’re not able to leave to go pick up food until their shift is over,” said Valentin. “That just weighed heavy on my heart and prompted us to show support to the whole hospital.”

Whether it’s through a colorful sign at a safe distance away or a donation of “comfort food and drinks to keep them going,” or simply staying home, Valentin said she hopes the greater Yuma community will continue coming together to show support for the healthcare providers who continue to show up on the frontlines every day.

“I hope it resonates with people that besides taking care of us, those workers are putting themselves at risk day after day,” said Valentin. “We’re so thankful for them and the sacrifices they’re making to keep our community healthy and safe.”

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