BOISE, Idaho — Have you seen the signs popping up at hospitals, medical centers, health clinics, and COVID-19 testing sites here in the Treasure Valley? They honor our healthcare workers with the phrase "Heroes Work Here."
The signs are getting a lot of attention on social media. Doctors, nurses, CNAs, paramedics, nutrition workers, janitorial staff, and just about everyone working at a hospital or a testing site right now, are feeling thankful for the recognition.
KTVB's Maggie O'Mara tracked down the local woman who is putting the signs up in the middle of the night to surprise these hardworking and dedicated professionals. Renee Ellis of Nampa is the owner of a small business called Sign Gypsies Boise.
"I have been in the valley for three years just setting up happiness and putting parties in people's yards to celebrate anything, anything you send a card for, we can put that up in your yard! Love being involved in the community and spreading a little joy where I can," Ellis said. "I tell people I put a little piece of my heart into every greeting that I set up."
Ellis said she has a garage filled with letters, graphics, and numbers. She usually puts up birthday, graduation, or new baby announcements on lawns, but this is something different. It’s something that really touches her heart.
"We were faced with this pandemic, and we have healthcare people who are really putting themselves on the line. I have health care workers in my family, and so this really hits home to me," she explained.
Ellis wants to thank nurse Claudia Sanders at Saint Alphonsus, and the other healthcare employees who helped her collaborate with medical facility locations and their administrations. It takes a village to pull something like this off!
She has been sneaking around before the sun comes up, setting up these touching signs to honor heroes at medical facilities across the valley.
Kristin Reese, a nurse at Saint Alphonsus in Boise, saw one of the signs in front of the hospital last week and snapped a photo.
"We came into work and we were welcomed by this really amazing sign that said heroes work here," Reese said. "I had to take a picture because it just meant so much that somebody would take some time out and just recognize the healthcare providers that are out there right now. I just wanted to tell somebody thank you! and I didn't know who to thank for that!"
Renee has set up “Heroes Work Here” signs at over a dozen locations to inspire the people working day in, and day out to fight the coronavirus.
"They are 100% donated," Ellis said. "That's just my way of giving back to the Treasure Valley."
Renee said putting up the signs brings her joy, knowing the smiles she is bringing to these heroes.
"I can't say thank you enough, this is my way to express the way the whole community feels, they are heroes," Ellis said. "I'll just keep on going! If there's something I can do to lift people up, I'm all for that!"
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