WASHINGTON — As the pandemic swept the globe, it was easy to get lost in all of the hardships that came along with it.
But for the owners of a stationery brand called Good Juju Ink, Ryan and Juliana Kissick saw an opportunity to reach out and give back.
"We as a greeting card company, a stationery company, couldn't make PPE or ventilators. And so as we racked our brains, we thought, what are we uniquely positioned to do with our industry with our capabilities. And that's where 18 million things came from," said Ryan Kissick, Head of Business Development at Good Juju Ink.
18 Million Thanks, which is named for the 18 million health care workers across the United States, started as just a hashtag.
The movement involves people far and wide taking the time to write a note and mailing it to a hospital anywhere in the country, thanking them for the incredible things they’ve done to keep our communities safe.
They launched a website with just 45 hospitals and 13 stationery brands listed with resources for making beautiful notes and cards. Today, the website features more than 60 stationery brands and more than 60 hospitals.
Some of those thank you notes made it all the way to MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
"It’s helping our caregivers really have the strength to continue on in their very hard work, it’s given them optimism," said Harvey Green, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer. "It's been a boost to morale. And the community has just been wonderful."
As the pandemic continues, It’s never too late to get in on the movement and send your thanks to a local hero.
"It's still happening...those numbers continue to be in flux and it's something that cannot be forgotten," Juliana Kissick, Creative Director and Illustrator at Good Juju Ink, said.
As far as the instructions? They're simple. "It literally takes a piece of scrap paper and any kind of writing utensil that you have available to you, crayons included, and just a heartfelt note, a heartfelt message of gratitude," she explained.