The cards will go to Keck Medicine of USC providers who are staying at USC Hotel as part of the Care for the Caregiver program. (Photo/Courtesy of Rene Pak)


Send a virtual hug to a USC front-line health care worker fighting COVID-19: Write them a card

Find out how to show extra appreciation for the medical professionals who are isolating at USC Hotel by sending them a thank-you note.

April 23, 2020 Alicia Di Rado

If you or your kids have time on your hands during the stay-at-home orders, consider making a small gesture that could mean a lot to USC’s doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients.

Volunteers can create cards to thank Keck Medicine of USC health care providers who are staying in isolation at USC Hotel. USC Auxiliary Services will deliver the thank-you notes, connecting the Trojan community and potentially turning strangers into friends.

Care for the Caregiver program
The Care for the Caregiver Program provides a place for Keck Medicine of USC providers to stay so that they don’t risk spreading the coronavirus to their families. (Photo/Courtesy of Keck Medicine of USC)

As of April 22, 166 guests have stayed at USC Hotel as part of the Care for the Caregiver program. It enables Keck Medicine of USC providers to recuperate and rest away from home, keeping them from potentially spreading the coronavirus to their families. Guests stay an average of eight to nine days at the hotel. But to stay healthy, they also risk feeling lonely.

Now volunteers can thank these medical heroes with the stroke of a pen through an effort dubbed Cards for the Caregivers. Rene Pak, chief of staff for President Carol L. Folt, came up with the idea when she noticed something that many parents can relate to: Her children had a lot of free time. Pak’s daughters Blake, 17, and Skyler, 18, painted cards for the health professionals, and the family sent them to the hotel with the help of Dan Stimmler, vice president of USC Auxiliary Services, and Dirk De Jong, executive director of USC Hospitality and USC Hotel.

The idea is catching on, and now anyone can send cards to caregivers at USC Hotel. De Jong’s team will distribute them to guests. Interested? Mail the cards to this address:

USC Hotel
Attn.: Dirk De Jong
3540 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles CA 90007

And if you’re concerned about spreading the coronavirus through mail, experts believe there is little risk of contracting the virus that way. The virus is unlikely to stay activated on paper for long. If you’re worried, though, follow the advice given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to everyone: Avoid touching your face and wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially after handling materials.