9-year-old from Highlands Ranch folds, delivers 2,000 'Thank you' hearts to hospital workers

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 01:17:41-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A 9-year-old girl wanted to show her appreciation for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Colorado. So she started folding paper, and along with friends and classmates, ultimately created and delivered 2,000 origami paper hearts with "thank you" messages on them to the hospital staff at Swedish Medical Center.

“We wanted to let the medical staff know that we cared about them during this tough and difficult time,” 9-year-old Erica told Denver7.

She soon recruited her family and friends, then her classmates at Cougar Run in Highlands Ranch, to take part. Each three-inch heart has a simple message written on it: "Thank you and stay safe."

“They risk their lives to save ours so I want to say thank you to them,” Erica’s friend Eunice, who took part in the project, added.

The girls and the group collectively made over 5,000 hearts.

“I just cannot believe how two little girls can come up with such a big idea,” Erica’s father said. “It’s just amazing.”

Two thousand of the hearts were delivered to Swedish Medical Center on Monday, where they were distributed to the staff.

“A lot of nurses had little tears in their eyes and were so touched that they were working so hard on these little gifts for us,” nurse Amy Clas said.

Clas works in the hospital’s COVID unit, and pulled the small heart out of the pocket of her scrubs when speaking about what it meant to her.

“It kind of just keeps us going,” she said. “I have it in my pocket as a reminder when days are hard that we’re all in this together.”

“We want to say to the people getting those hearts that we appreciate them and we love them,” Erica said.

More donations to more hospitals are coming, and the girls do not have any plans on slowing down their heart-making. When asked how many more they were going to make, Eunice replied “infinite.”