Random acts of kindness can be small gestures such as holding the door for someone or more planned acts such as helping strangers.
Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mercy St. Louis routinely help those in need, even outside their own unit.
For two years, nurse Bev Barringer-Ruggeri has led an effort to help a group called Moms on a Mission. The group collects clothing for the homeless in Illinois and downtown St. Louis.
“I learned of the work this group does through a family connection and knew my co-workers would jump in to help,” Barringer-Ruggeri said. “They told us coats are greatly needed because they get soiled quickly by sleeping on the ground and being worn 24/7 to stay warm.”
Last year, the NICU nurses collected more than a car load of coats, mittens and hats. This year, the challenge was expanded and in addition to coats they collected hoodies and things that could be layered to help those in need.
“We were able to collect them quickly this year and delivered the boxes just in time to be handed out during the recent cold snap,” she said. “We’re planning another one drive in the spring with lightweight coats.”
Barringer-Ruggeri said the NICU team really works together to reach beyond the hospital walls and help the community.