A woman from Steinbach is asking the community to help show appreciation to our paramedics.
Mallery Reimer is the wife of Steinbach Assistant Fire Chief Russ Reimer, who is also a firefighter paramedic in Winnipeg. Through Firefighters For Christ, Reimer says she is collecting donations in order to help local paramedics through these challenging times with the pandemic.
"I chose (paramedics) because I feel unfortunately that in these situations they are being overlooked," she says. "And they really, truly are right on our front lines."
But, Reimer says it was not until hearing the touching story of a child, that she decided to try helping out. She heard about an 11-year-old girl who was trying to raise money for doctors and nurses taking care of her grandmother who was sick in the hospital.
"It really broke my heart to imagine my kids in that situation," recalls Reimer. "I tried to imagine myself in the situation and the truth is I don't know what I would do. Our paramedics handle these situations day in and day out and I just feel they just deserve this recognition."
As the wife of a firefighter paramedic, Reimer says she sees and hears the "brutal stress" firsthand. She admits it is difficult to know what to say and do when your husband comes home at the end of a shift.
But, Reimer is now hoping the public can help her say thank-you to her husband and all other paramedics. She is asking for cards, letters or gift cards which will be delivered to paramedics within Southern Health. Reimer is also hoping for financial donations in order to buy foggers to disinfect equipment at the EMS station in Steinbach. Each fogger costs approximately $1,000.
"We encourage people to give as they feel led, but we're also hoping to drop off some gifts in time for Christmas," says Reimer. "We're trusting that whatever they get, it will lift their spirits and carry them through this pandemic."
Reimer says through this act of appreciation she is also hoping to help out local businesses that might be struggling as the result of COVID-19. The gift cards will be purchased from these businesses.
"I'd really like to also help our local businesses, our home businesses, all those little guys, just help keep them alive," she says. "So anything local would be fantastic."
Anyone wanting to make a donation is invited to contact Mallery Reimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I just really hope we can all come together and help out our people," she says. "They are part of our community, they are somebody's Mom, somebody's someone and they are going through a hard time."
This fundraising effort is coming on the heels of another fundraiser that saw Len Langlois collect nearly $1,000 from the local community in order to help frontline workers. Langlois used the money to purchase cookies, coffee and local gift certificates and then made deliveries to the Steinbach RCMP detachment, the COVID-19 centre in Steinbach as well as the hospital.