RHS Junior Creates Letter Writing Campaign to Thank Healthcare Workers
Randolph High School Junior Maddie Plansky is an active student and ambassador for the community. She is a varsity sideline and competitive cheerleader, a member of the lacrosse team, and the news editor for the district’s school newspaper Rampage. Maddie is also a member of five academic national honor societies and is a board member of the Bridges Club that works to deliver lunches to people in need in Newark. She is certainly no stranger to leadership at Randolph High School and in the local community. Given Maddie’s nine years of cheerleading experience helping to raise spirit at athletic events and other fundraisers, she knew she wanted to do something to encourage others during this time of uncertainty. She created a letter writing campaign to thank healthcare workers fighting on the front line and is encouraging other families in the community to participate.
She found inspiration to start this letter writing campaign from her mother’s experience as a healthcare worker. “Cheer has taught me the meaning of hard work, perseverance and teamwork…Social distancing and being isolated in my own home made me feel helpless. I suddenly found that I had a lot of free time on my hands that I never had before. With my mom being an oral surgeon and hearing stories from her associates on the front line, I soon became aware of the trauma and hardships that they faced daily. I began to brainstorm ways that I could help the community without putting anyone in immediate danger. After much thought, I realized that in this situation, the most effective way to lift morale and care for the people who are currently putting their lives at risk would be to write letters.”
Maddie had a plan, but she needed help seeing the plan executed. She decided to reach out to district leadership and work collaboratively to streamline the process of collection and inspire others to participate. “I knew I would not be able to do this on my own. Fortunately, with the help of Humanities Supervisor Dr. Amelia Wright, I was able to reach out to students and teachers to help me with this endeavor. I know how something as little as a note can make a world of a difference in the lives of health care workers today.”
Since she started collecting letters, Maddie has received close to 200 from students at Randolph High School. More letters of encouragement are needed. If you would like to send a letter to a healthcare worker, please send your letter to Maddie at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is working with various healthcare facilities to get the letters to healthcare workers. What should you or your family write in the letter? According to Maddie, “Write something appreciative and motivating that you would like to receive during trying times. Include an introduction like “Dear Healthcare Worker” or “Dear Hero” to start your letter. Don’t include any personal information like last name, email, or address. Letters can be of any length, as long as they are meaningful and you think your words will help someone. We strongly encourage that you include some sort of drawing or picture to make your letter colorful and unique. These individuals are working shifts in upwards of 12 hours caring for very sick people. The least we can do is include something in the letter to try to make their day even just a little bit better.”
Thank you Maddie for your creative idea and compassion. You are an amazing ambassador for our healthcare workers fighting on the front line!