As the global coronavirus crisis began to hit Australian shores, Sydney mother Kaylie Smith felt compelled to try and do something to support the nation’s brave healthcare workers on the frontline.
She turned to Facebook, posting a comment on a local community group that asked for suggestions on ways to ease the burden on frontline healthcare staff such as nurses and doctors working tirelessly in the battle against COVID-19.
The answer was clear – shouting healthcare workers a simple cup of good quality coffee on a night shift could make the world of difference.
Ms Smith sprang into action and started the GoFundMe page Buy Them A Coffee, raising funds to buy a cup of coffee for healthcare workers in a symbolic show of solidarity to those at the coalface.
The campaign quickly expanded nationally, with Buy Them A Coffee GoFundMe pages emerging across the country, and now even internationally.
To date, Ms Smith’s NSW-based page has received over 1,500 donations and raised almost $50,000, with all funds donated to a coffee cart called Short Black Night Shift.
The van typically parks outside hospitals and offers free coffee nightly for an hour or two.
Nationally, fundraising efforts have helped give away more than 20,000 coffees over the past three weeks.
“Our goal is to help our local healthcare professionals by buying them a coffee, tea or snack during the COVID-19 crisis,” she told the ANMJ.
“We started serving coffee, tea and snacks every night at the Royal North Shore Hospital. I then recruited a group of friends to help us expand to other states/cities and now we’re in every state across Australia and serving eight hospitals in Sydney daily.”
Ms Smith says she’s been humbled by the growing support for the campaign.
The page is now giving away coffee, tea and treats at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Sydney Children’s Hospital, in addition to Royal North Shore.
“I felt like a lot of Australians wanted to help our incredible healthcare workers but didn’t really know how,” she explains.
“My goal was to make it easy. By donating your coffee money for a day or a week you could put a smile on a nurse’s face during a tough shift. It’s made us at home feel like we are doing a small part to help and the feedback from the healthcare community has been so touching and overwhelmingly positive. They really feel our support and sincerely appreciate it.”
Ms Smith says the Buy Them A Coffee GoFundMe pages are committed to supporting healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
“To see the smiles on the faces of our healthcare heroes as I wake up each morning, it makes the campaign 100% meaningful to all of us and shows the power of a small act of kindness,” she says.
“We have a goal of supporting healthcare workers in every state and hopefully every major hospital for the duration of the COVID crisis. We all have full-time jobs so we’re committed to making this happen for as long as necessary but I imagine we’ll all go back to our ‘normal’ lives once the crisis is over.”
Support Buy Them A Coffee GoFundMe pages: