Victor Itiowe-Ezeh (8 years old) and his sister Graceful Itiowe-Ezeh (5 years old) decided to make and deliver thank-you notes to frontline heroes after doing a virtual surprise birthday party for their Sunday School teacher who is a nurse. Graceful draws the hearts, while Victor writes the text which reads: “Thank you for being a HERO! Praying for you. Stay safe, Victor and Graceful.”
Following the encouraging response from the nurses who received the first batch of thank-you notes, Victor and Graceful were motivated to do more, which led to the decision to appreciate all Texas frontline heroes. They tagged the project “Happy Heroes,” with the goal of putting smiles on the faces of all frontline heroes.
Victor, currently a 3rd-grade student at Harmony Science Academy, Cypress, Texas, reached out to his classmates and friends asking them to join him and his sister in making and delivering thank-you notes to hospitals. His teacher also promoted the project among his classmates and sent them a note: “What a great project. I am so proud of Victor and his sister. Please give him a warm big hug from me.”
It has been their pet project since then. During the weekends, they wake up, sometimes even before breakfast, to start working on making the thank-you notes. They even composed an interesting song that facilitates their productivity. They have made and delivered hundreds of thank-you notes to several hospitals: Memorial Hermann Hospitals, HCA Houston Healthcare Hospitals, Houston Methodist Hospitals, CommonSpirit Health, and Spring Branch Health Centers, to name a few.
They have received great feedback from nurses, doctors, and healthcare leaders:
“A very big THANK YOU to Victor and Graceful!!! We appreciate you thinking about us.”
“You made us smile… it shows in our eyes.”
“Many thanks to Victor and Graceful for the well wishes. God bless their hearts.”
“Victor and Graceful, really impressive, keep up the good work.”
“Waooo, waoooo, Awesome, this is so great, oh my God, I am so proud of them, this brought tears to my eyes.”
“I take it with me so during my shift when things are tough, I read it and it comes across like a pop of sunshine on a gloomy day.”
Digital copies are also being shared with hospital executives and leaders who have been sharing them with their staff. A CEO of one of the large hospitals in Houston said, “I love it, I’ll share in my daily CEO update.”
Victor told abc13 news when he was interviewed for their ‘Community Strong’ segment that his message to frontline heroes is: “We appreciate you for the sacrifices you are making as you take care of members of the community like they are family during these times of the coronavirus. Thank you for all you do. We hope you receive one of our thank-you notes. We are praying for you. God bless you.”
These siblings were inspired by their parents who are healthcare professionals. As a family, when they watched the news, they discussed the challenges the frontline heroes were facing and what could be done to alleviate the stress on the frontline workers as well as members of their families. These discussions inspired several ideas of what they could do as a family to minimize social isolation despite physical distancing, for which several have been implemented on different platforms with great results.
Mom and Dad expressed how proud they are of their children owning and driving the ‘Happy Heroes’ project, as well as their contagious passion to positively impact a seemingly gloomy situation. As a family, they are committed to continuing to share the thank-you notes physically and digitally.