By Karen Stokes
Early Easter Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m., cars gathered around 51st Street and Burleigh Street, with hazard lights blinking, to display a random act of kindness. The cars were assembled for a prayer vigil at Ascension, St. Joseph’s Hospital.
The prayer vigil was organized by Pastor Dennis Daniels, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dozens of people lined up in their cars to pray for the health care staff on the frontlines.
“Pastor Daniels reached out to Kevin Kluesner, Ascension St. Joseph’s chief administrative officer, to share that he and several of his members wanted to organize a community prayer for the associates at St. Joseph’s,” said Nichole Gladney, director of Community Services at Ascension Wisconsin.
Since the coronavirus erupted, nurses, doctors and all frontline staff including food service workers have been working overtime, with a high number of cases, a lack of equipment and multitasking. They are the real heroes during this pandemic.
Cars parked around the hospital, exercising social distancing guidelines as prayer warriors sat in their cars and prayed. Daniels came out in the street and preached a powerful message and said a prayer to bless the nurses, physicians, the frontline workers and the larger Sherman Park area. There was also support from the Milwaukee Paratech Services and the Milwaukee Police Department.
“It was really a nice showing,” Gladney said. “We had a patient who received care from our Columbia St. Mary’s campus who referred to the associates as doing “God’s work” so I think to be able to show appreciation and gratitude for those associates was very moving and touching.”
“It was very heart warming for the associates and they are very appreciative,” Gladney said. “Community bonding and acts of kindness as we work through this pandemic in our community.”