Did you know that this week is Community Health Improvement Week? We didn’t…but we sure were happy to find out. This is exactly the kind of cause we should be celebrating right now. Amidst chaos, there is still so much good happening.


This week, the American Hospital Association is encouraging everyone to honor the “dedication, courage and kindness of hospital and community health professionals whose service helps us enjoy healthier and happier lives.” They’re also encouraging us all to share our own stories of how our communities are coming together to make a positive difference during this time.


So we wanted to do just that.


Today, we wanted to highlight the community health initiatives undertaken by the Rotary Club of Hialeah-Miami Springs, of which Healing Hands Founder Anastasia Yecke Gude is an active member (and immediate past president). Recently, they purchased 10,000 surgical masks to give away to the local community. On May 9th, they gave away around 2,000 of them at a local food giveaway for families in need.

Anastasia says, “What was cool about it was that it was a true community collaboration between our Rotary Club (which provided the masks) and the Optimist Club (which provided the food). A local Boy Scout troop and Knights of Columbus chapter also helped distribute meals, while the Girl Scouts provided cookies. In addition, a florist donated several hundred bouquets of flowers, which we gave to the moms since it was the day before Mother’s Day. The Miami Springs Police Department was there to moderate the flow of traffic, and employees of the Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens Public Works Departments, as well as city commissioners and the mayor, also helped out. It was so nice to see so many local and civic organizations working together!”


Anastasia and her husband Erik were on a walk in the neighborhood that morning, and saw cars lined up as early as 7am, proving that a significant need exists for both the food and the masks.


“As far as the rest of the 10,000 masks, we’ve distributed several thousand more around our local community: to a doctor’s office, a nursing home, our post office, area churches, the local Women’s Club, and various restaurants that donated gift certificates for a fundraiser I spearheaded last year.”


Nothing quite like a story of an entire community coming together to lift your spirits during this time!