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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
Four people stand in front of a Tim Hortons van, parked outside of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital
April 5, 2020

Local Tims fills WLMH’s (coffee) cup

In the 24/7 health-care grind, coffee can be a necessity.

However, in an effort to limit the amount of people in the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, non-clinical personnel have been asked to stay home. At West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH), this includes the auxiliary staff who run the site’s coffee shop.

“Like all hospitals, we are missing all the wonderful services that the auxiliary and volunteers bring to the hospital on a regular basis. One of the services we started to miss very early on was coffee,” said Cindy MacDonald, director of community programs, and site administrator at WLMH.

“The pandemic has brought out the best in people.”

To fill the initial gap, the Customer Support Services staff at WLMH stepped up by providing coffee carafe’s and the Auxiliary staff donated items that remained in the coffee shop, like coffee, milk, cream and sugar. And then, MacDonald got the call from Mike Kirkopoulos, chief administrative officer at the Town of Lincoln, asking how he could help support the WLMH team.

“When I shared with him how important coffee was, he emailed three words back that made me smile: ‘We’re on it!’” she said.

Community coming together

Kirkopoulos made a call to Chris Riedeger, who owns the local Tim Hortons location in Beamsville.

“I highlighted that coffee for nurses, doctors, cleaners, wasn’t available anymore. Then it was all Chris. He immediately said, ‘leave it to me.’ The pandemic has brought out the best in people and shown in so many ways, the good in our society and the wonderful human spirit,” Kirkopoulos said.

Riedeger pulled together coffee makers, ground coffee, tea and everything else needed. He also reached out to Grimsby Tim Horton’s franchisee Larry Thornley, and together, they are making sure that staff at WLMH have coffee for the next three months. On April 4, they dropped the goods off at the site.

“It’s important that people in the hospital know that the community appreciates them and that we’re behind them.”

Part of being a good neighbour

“We’re part of this community and we have to pull each up and stand together, and that means standing with WLMH and its people during this tough time. As long as we remember where we came from, we’ll get through this together and come out stronger on the other side,” Riedeger said.

“It’s important that people in the hospital know that the community appreciates them and that we’re behind them. Hopefully, by bringing coffee to them, they won’t have to go out which will keep them safe and able to keep on helping patients,” Thornley added.

The team at the hospital graciously accepted this generous gift.

“Support from our community takes many forms. This is a big boost for those of us providing care 24/7. This community never ceases to amaze me. On behalf of the staff and physicians at WLMH, thank you,” said MacDonald.