Giving back to first responders

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many are finding ways to show their thanks and appreciation to those who make a difference in the community. Suffolk Resident Mamie Vaughan is one of those giving thanks and will be showing the first responders, doctors, and nurses of Suffolk how much they matter with a special event of appreciation on Friday, Nov. 17, to which she calls “spectacular.”

“We are going to be giving out gift bags to our doctors, nurses and first responders. We’re going to be handing out at least 200 rotisseries. [I] don’t know how many turkeys so far, but we’re going to pass out turkeys as well. And not only that, will be handing out some care packages as well too. So, the event is going to be spectacular, it’s going to be for them on the 17th,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan says they will be traveling around various stops in the City of Suffolk, including the Harbour View area, Lakeview Medical Center, Velocity Urgent Care, Sentara Obici Hospital and much more. Vaughan talked about how she will recognize two doctors and one individual at Obici. 

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“We’re recognizing them because their name is echoing. So I cannot not recognize them because these two doctors at this location, her name echoes so much, some donations specifically come to me because of this location, and because of this doctor,” Vaughan said. “And because her name echoes so well, and because they love her so much, I decided to recognize her.”

On what inspires Vaughan to honor these men and women, she reflected back to when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and how they helped her.

“Because I saw where they couldn’t say no. They didn’t have the opportunity to say no. They don’t have the opportunity to say ‘Well, I’m not going to work anymore.’ They had to run in a storm and they had to stand as palm trees in the midst of this storm and they had to jeopardize their lives for people like me. They subject their mamas, their daddies, their children, their own lives, for people like you and I,” Vaughan said. “So, I’m grateful and they didn’t have the opportunity. By the time they get off work to go buy their turkeys and go buy their own Thanksgiving meal, they’re too [tired]. They had to work 12 hour shifts. They had to work challenging hours and sometimes probably around the clock, for people like me.”

On what she wants the first responders, doctors and nurses to know most of all, Vaughan said this:

“I want them to know most of all, not just coming from myself but from the community, because this is what the community is saying. Not only are we saying ‘Thank you,’ but we are saying that they are appreciated and we want them to have this sense of appreciation, and that they are appreciated. And they are needed,” Vaughan said. “We want them to know that their label has not gone unnoticed and their work has not gone in vain and we as a community appreciate them.”