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'A hero lives here' | Paramedic creates yard signs to support coworkers during COVID-19

“A small act of kindness can go a long way,” she said

ST. PETERS, Mo. — Life for hospital workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic isn't easy right now, but across St. Louis, one of their own is giving them a welcome, public shout-out.

"I want to bring attention to them so that their neighbors can appreciate them and know that they're going to work everyday and they're doing this, potentially jeopardizing their own homes,” paramedic Annie Owens said.

Owens works for SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital. On her off-days, she's been busy building signs that tell people exactly who lives on their street. The signs say, “A hero lives here.”

“I want to bring a smile to my coworkers' faces so when they see that, they know that we're all in this together and we all care about each other,” she said.

Credit: KSDK

So far, she's surprised seven hospital co-workers with the posters, and she's working on more.

Nursing manager Laura Weaver was one of the first to receive a sign. Her office at work is also decorated with balloons.

“I really was overcome with emotion,” she said. “Just seeing the good come out in everybody, including my staff and the community, is so overwhelming and my heart is just so full.”

It's impossible to escape what they're facing at work.

“It's very hard. It's very scary,” Owen said.

But she believes a little recognition helps.

“A small act of kindness can go a long way,” she said.

Owens has created a fundraiser to help cover the cost of her materials. If you’d like to donate, visit the Facebook page here.

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