A family friend and a Rhode Island fifth-grader swept snow off dozens of hospital workers’ cars during Monday’s nor’easter to thank them for all their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Christian Stone, 10, and Abbey Meeker went to Westerly Hospital at around shift change when doctors, nurses, and other staff members were walking to the parking lot.
“We kind of made it a game,” Meeker told CNN.
The duo would rush over to the car and clean it off as quickly as possible when drivers used their remotes to start or unlock their cars.
Meeker, 29, says Christian came up with the idea during the last big snowstorm and she agreed to help him.
She’s known Christian’s mom since grade school and thinks of him as a little brother.
“Christian is wise beyond his years,” she said. “He’s my little partner in crime.”
She said he likes to help people and had been shoveling neighbors’ driveways for free before they went to the hospital in Westerly, about 45 miles southwest of Providence, on the border with Connecticut.
“I was thinking they’ve been helping us a lot through this whole pandemic, and I figured why don’t we help them, you know?” Christian told CNN affiliate WJAR. “All day, every day the nurses here, they deal with the pandemic like Covid and they want to get home from work, so we thought we would make it a tiny bit easier for them by cleaning off their cars for them.”
One hospital worker said in a comment on the WJAR Facebook page that she wondered why her car was so clean when she left work on Tuesday morning.
“Only thing I had to do was [get] in and drive away!” she wrote, adding that it took her three hours to drive home because of the weather.
Meeker said she really hates the snow and that they had to change clothes twice because they would get soaking wet in the freezing cold.
“If I had to do it by myself, I definitely would not have done it,” she said. “But I knew how much it meant to Christian so I sucked it up.”
She also said she knew a lot of people at the hospital and had gone out by herself earlier in the day to clean off cars for people on other shifts.
Meeker said, they ended up cleaning off about 80 cars in four different employee parking lots.
Some people offered to pay, but they didn’t want the money. Meeker said he did get $20 because two insistent nurses told him they’d be mad if he didn’t accept it.
“Some of them say, ‘Thank you so much’ and I’m just really happy to see them happy and “It’s been cold but extremely fun seeing how happy they get,” said Stone