A grass-roots movement that started with rage seeing health care officials shouted down at a meeting two weeks ago has swelled to a community-wide effort to recognize, honor and feed those on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shannon O'Quinn's "Healthcare Heroes" project, with the assistance of her mother and a friend and a business or two, is producing signs with blue backgrounds for free for employees of hospitals, clinics, assisted living centers, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department and other places where caregivers work.

O'Quinn also applied her graphic design background to create signs with yellow and orange backgrounds saying "Thank you Casper Healthcare Heroes."

Meanwhile, the Healthcare Heroes Facebook page now has more than 1,300 followers.

The project gained the support of the YMCA, 1611 Casper Mountain Road, which has the "thank you" signs available for a donation. If people want a sign but can't afford it, they can still receive a sign for free.

"Healthcare Heroes" also is offering T-shirts, but orders for those through the Facebook page must be placed by Wednesday.

After expenses, all the proceeds go to supporting local health care workers with snacks, and deliveries of pizza, doughnuts, cupcakes and breakfast burritos, O'Quinn said.

The awareness is as important as the donations for the health career workers.

O'Quinn offers bags of chalk for anyone who wants to draw art on a sidewalk to show their support, she said. Bags of the chalk can be obtained at O'Quinn Realty, 113 S. Lincoln St.

Likewise in the art vein, coloring sheets are available for those who wish to make their own signs for the health care workers.

Students at Verda James Elementary School already have pitched in.

Shannon O'Quinn

Many local businesses have volunteered their time and food for the effort, and O'Quinn is still looking for more.

Again, see the Healthcare Heroes Facebook page for how you can help.

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