AUSTIN, Texas — An emergency room doctor at Seton for the last 20 years, Dr. Julie Dodd has inspired her family and friends to form a community effort of extending thanks to medical workers.
"I've seen the texts, the signs, the letters. I'm telling you, it creates a morale and comradery that we just didn't have before," said Dr. Julie Dodd
Swett's three daughters say a friend recently gave their mother a gift card, and it brought tears to her eyes.
"She appreciated it because she doesn't get thanked that much," said Megan Swett, Dr. Dodd's middle daughter.
"Our mom got teary-eyed when she got that gift card, so we thought if we did that for the other workers they would have the same reaction," said Addie Swett, Dr. Dodd's youngest daughter.
Sitting around the dinner table as a family, they came up with the idea to make sure Dr. Dodd's fellow medical workers feel thanked.
"We set up a Venmo account, and what we're doing is going to the local restaurants to get gift cards for them," said Megan Swett.
As others caught wind of the idea, the effort spread like wildfire. Jaclyn Johnson is one of many families who jumped in to help.
"We started with three or four local restaurants right around Seton, and it's turned into 20 restaurants," said Johnson. "All the children made thank-you notes, seven families have helped out."
Now, thanks to those families, the Venmo amount is up to $16,500, which will provide 300 gift cards for workers this Easter weekend, which, in turn, is also helping out local restaurants stay afloat.
"They need food to bring home to their families, especially the ones with children at home who are out of school. They need to come home and bring home, so we thought this would be a good way to say thank you and do that," said Macie Swett, Dr. Dodd's oldest daughter.
If you'd like to help out, they're encouraging the community to send money before Easter Sunday to the Venmo account: soteria-austin.
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