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Boy Sends Gloves, Thank-You Letter to NKY Health Care Workers

A Northern Kentucky boy wanted to say thank-you to health care workers on the front line of the COVID-19 response.

Ben Brinkhaus, 7, is in the first grade at John W. Miles School in Erlanger. Like many kids, he's grown bored at times during quarantine, but stays busy with his school work.

One night, he was watching the news and saw that there was a shortage of gloves for nurses.

"Ben is pragmatic," said Allie Brinkhaus, Ben's mom. "We had been watching so that he wasn't exposed to too much news, but he watched a segment on this day, and he was concerned. He said to me, They need more gloves. Why doesn't someone give them gloves? And later, he said, They are doing a good job, and someone should tell them thanks.

"Ben's mind is compartmental, and when he sees a need, he wants to fix it, or have someone fix it.  That makes sense to him."

Ben has maintained a medical supply kit since he was three years old, kept in his room on the top bunk. After seeing the need, he retrieved the kit and the latex gloves inside.

And then, he took a pen to paper and wrote to St. Elizabeth Healthcare to tell its workers thanks for taking care of sick patients. Ben mailed the car - with the gloves inside - to St. E's Edgewood campus.

Not long after, Ben received a letter in the mail from St. Elizabeth CEO Garren Colvin.

"Dear Benjamin," Colvin wrote, "I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and safe. I wanted to sincerely thank you for the wonderful card that you made me and for the pair of gloves that you sent.  I cannot tell you how much that made me smile! I know that things are a little difficult right now for all of us and it meant so much that you would take the time to do this. I am so thankful for you generous and giving heart. Please keep on spreading kindness and being a light in your community!"

It was signed, Your friend, Garren Colvin.

"Receiving Benjamin's card of encouragement made my day," Colvin said. "The fact that he was thinking of me during this time where he, too, is experiencing so much change in his life, spoke volumes about his heart and character.  I was so moved by his gesture that I proudly shared his card with our entire team of associates and physicians because I knew his words of support would make a difference in their day as well."

Ben was thrilled to receive the letter.

He recently celebrated a birthday on March 14 - a day that he believes is significant because it's National Pi Day, a nod to "3/14" and the mathematical constant that begins "3/14" and is referred to by the Greek letter, pi. It's also famed physicist Albert Einstein's birthday.

Ben loves math.

When he grows up, he may be on the front line of a pandemic himself, if he pursues being a doctor. But he might also be an engineer, he said. 

Or maybe even a basketball player.

"If I am really worried about something, I will do something about it," Ben said. "I think it would be good if people are just nice, and helpful."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor