When the coronavirus pandemic hit, not only did it place the public in danger but it questioned the future of mom and pop businesses and the impact it would have on the medical community. Allen resident, Crystella McIvor, sought out a way on how she could give back to the both of them.
McIvor’s daughter, Cheryl McIvor, is a nurse herself. With the low supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as masks, McIvor ventured out to find some to prevent workers like her daughter from catching the virus. Once she discovered the only way to obtain any was to dive into the dark web, she was forced to discover another route to contribute to the solution.
“I wasn’t going to sit around and not help,” McIvor said. “I then thought to myself how meaningful a simple meal can be.”
McIvor realized that she could support healthcare workers by helping supply meals - this led her to “Support Our Scrubs.” The organization’s mission is to raise funds through GoFundMe to allow communities to sponsor meals while providing business to local restaurants such as Allen’s Bar Louie and Beto & Son in Trinity Groves. Additionally, the organization helps to assist restaurants in the process of feeding healthcare workers on the frontline all around the Metroplex by getting them in touch with hospitals.
Support Our Scrubs was created in the beginning of nurses week on May 6. They started off by not only providing meals, but helping Children’s Health hospital in Dallas by giving nurses badge reels with decorated animated characters such as Mickey Mouse and different Marvel superheroes. In addition, the organization brought together local moms to create and deliver hundreds of homemade masks and mask headbands.
“We provided badge reels because all of the nurses' faces are covered, and they're taking care of kids who cannot have any visitors,” McIvor said. “So we bought cute badge reels online to help the nurses look more friendly.”
One of their many contributions took place last Wednesday outside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Allen. McIvor was standing beside the ER entrance, waiting for the owners of Elke's Market Cafe and Silver Thai Cuisine to drop off 115 meals each for the day shift staff. The restaurants were providing wrap sandwich lunch boxes, Chicken Pad Thai and Veggie Pad Thai.
“It’s been wonderful to see the community to show their appreciation for what we do. We do not take it for granted, and God knows we appreciate everything that they do,” said Muraya Muraguri, an orthopedic nurse at Texas Health Allen. “The experience with COVID is something that we’ll always remember, but also to see how the community and the different businesses came through to show us support. It’s something that we will never forget.”
Support Our Scrubs runs two chapters: one for the general DFW area and one locally for Allen. With the help of 46 donors, the organization was able to raise $3,268. This was enough to provide meals for the whole Texas Health Allen staff for both the day and night shifts. Later in the day on Wednesday, Two Rows Breweries & Grills provided 60 meals for the hospital’s night crew.
“(This) is a great honor. We all tried to figure out a way that we can get involved and help the community, and this is one way that we can do it. The more that we can get involved, the more we’re happy to do it,” Elke’s owner Tim Marsh said.
Although Support Our Scrubs offers different solutions for a temporary problem, McIvor was concerned about the mental effects the pandemic would have after it came to an end.
“Many of our medical professionals have been through traumatic experiences, and many may still need support.” McIvor said.
To continue to assist the medical community, she enrolled herself in an online college course, “Nonprofit Management Certification Series.” With her certification, she hopes to establish a new organization where she can help provide frontline workers access to counseling, financial support and other services they need as a result of the pandemic. Taking the course, she says, allows her to learn as much as she can and be prepared in case there is a need for more help.
Through the effort of Support Our Scrubs, McIvor made sure to contribute to the community in three different ways: help local restaurants, feed healthcare workers and remind everyone that there is still good and beauty left in the world today.