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Serving up gratitude for nursing home workers

Guthrie's Chicken in South Tampa stepped in to help a daughter thank the nurses caring for her mom. She thanked them on Nextdoor.

TAMPA, Fla. — Inside of nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Tampa Bay are loved ones physically cut off from their families. It’s been five weeks of zero outside contact.

The 24/7 care provided by nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and staff on the inside includes lifting spirits and keeping residents positive. It’s tireless-- and some are pulling double and even triple shifts.

Renee Skop lives in Tampa’s Bayside West. She shared on Nextdoor what a neighboring restaurant did to help her thank the staff at Bayshore Pointe Nursing & Rehab Center.

“A big, big thank you… they generously donated and delivered delicious food to the nurses, CNAs, etc. at Bayshore Pointe" she wrote.

On Wednesday morning, a few workers inside of Guthrie’s Chicken on South Dale Mabry Blvd. were getting ready for the day. They’re still open, frying chicken and feeding the community.

“We at Guthrie’s Chicken are happy to support the community of Tampa Bay,” said manager Bill McClugage.

Blocks away Skop’s 95-year-old mother is being cared for by the staff at Bayshore Pointe. It’s been more than 30 days since she’s seen Dorothy in person.

“It’s hard, but she’s well taken care of and that’s all I can ask for,” said Skop.

“We feel helpless as family because what can we do but support the ones that are helping our loved ones?”

She said under normal circumstances they work hard, but now they’re doing much more. She wanted to show her appreciation and scraped together a little of her budget in hopes of buying a meal for the roughly 40 workers. 

Renee decided to keep her support with local restaurants who are also feeling the pandemic's impact. She called Guthrie’s Chicken to explain what she wanted to do-- 10 minutes later McClugage called her back and said it was on the house.

“He said, ‘No problem. We’re gonna take care of it for you.’ I’m gonna cry but that they were more than happy to help where they could. I’m proud of them. I’m grateful,” Skop said.

It was a huge helping of generosity to serve those on the front line.

“We are very thankful to be able to serve as an essential business during this time and be able to spread the love of Jesus to others. We wanted to bless others and say thank you to everyone serving on the front line every day,” said owner Mindi Guthrie.

Skop wanted her neighbors to know about the kindness she and others received, so she shared the restaurants act on Nextdoor.

“We’re getting to see the true beauty of the human race and the hearts of people that live on earth and I think that’s just so beautiful and I hope it continues way past this point,” she said.

Tijuana Flats has also told Skop they want to help by sending meals to the workers at Bayshore Pointe. She says she’ll share that with her neighbors, too.

This story was inspired by a local resident who 10News reporter Courtney Robinson connected with on Nextdoor. She’s looking to share the positive stories of neighbors helping neighbors. Click here to see and comment on Courtney’s Nextdoor posts.

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