Essential Race raises funds for frontline workers at local hospitals

John and Wenjun Richards

John and Wenjun Richards

Contributed photo

John and Wenjun Richards, owners of FirstLight HomeCare of Western CT, saw first hand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on caregivers across the health care spectrum.

The couple decided to recently show their appreciation and respect by sponsoring The Essential Race, a virtual race to support the emotional wellbeing of front line medical workers at Danbury, Norwalk and New Milford hospitals, an announcement said.

Over $4,000 was raised from the 200 individuals who walked, ran, or swam, and thirteen local healthcare companies joined FirstLight as race partners.

“We recognize the emotional impact of the work performed by our staff members. As a result, a new initiative called PACT - Provider / Associate Care Team - is now available to provide peer support. These volunteer staff members are trained to listen and reach out to their co workers who are experiencing a difficult time. Members of PACT are visiting various areas of the hospital to check in with the staff who are too busy to leave the units. Our support teams bring them everything from classical music CDs and refreshments to friendly conversations, a listening ear, or helpful resources. The funds raised by FirstLight will help support this initiative,” Danbury Hospital’s Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship at Danbury Hospital Susan Kania said.

“The pandemic has taken such a terrible toll on our communities, that we can easily lose sight of its impact on the emotional wellbeing of caregivers everywhere, and especially those on the front line in our local hospitals. The purpose of the Essential Race is to raise community awareness, as well as to provide tangible support and a heartfelt thanks for these essential caregivers. They are indeed our heroes!" John Richards said.

FirstLight HomeCare of Western CT, is a Ridgefield CT based home care company. The company employs 200 caregivers and serves more than 100 clients in private homes and senior residences throughout Fairfield, Litchfield, New Haven, and Middlesex counties.