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Pillows donated to healthcare workers

Doctors and nurses at a hospital in the Poconos were gifted a place to rest their head.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — It's been a challenging time for many people—especially doctors and nurses who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for more than a year.

"Our numbers are getting better. Vaccinations are doing their jobs. Our numbers are down here in the hospital. Lehigh Valley always posts the downward trend, and we are in a downward trend right now, so I think we just need to keep doing what we are doing, and hopefully, we will be somewhat back to normal shortly," said Samantha Rhinesmith, LVH-Pocono Nurse.

As a way of saying thank you to first responders, Alma Ruiz-Smith from Coolbaugh Township brought some comfort with her for hospital heroes when she stopped by Lehigh Valley Hospital Pocono in East Stroudsburg—handmade pillows.

"I am donating from a group that I created on Facebook called Hugs, Kisses and Prayers specifically made for the professionals, front line responders, doctors and nurses in hospitals who are working 14, 15, 24 hours a day without going home and so the purpose of this is to give them a little touch of home. Give them their own personal pillow to sleep on so they don't have to bundle up their scrubs and go into a corner somewhere and try to get some z's," said Alma Ruiz-Smith, Hugs, Kisses, and Prayers.

Samantha Rhinesmith is a registered nurse at LVH-Pocono.

She says kind gestures like this help make the job easier and a bit more comfortable.

"Oh, I can't; I think it's wonderful. I can't believe people are donating stuff to us. It's awesome, so awesome," said Rhinesmith.

Alma made 35 pillowcases for this group with plans to deliver more to other medical facilities.

"As long as these guys need something special to feel connected to home, I am a seamstress; that's what I do. I am other things, but that is my passion," said Ruiz-Smith.

Alma would really love to continue making pillows, and she can use some donations.