Wollongong's over-worked healthcare workers have a free cup of coffee coming their way at Meni Cafe.
Buy Them A Coffee Wollongong has stemmed from a Sydney-based campaign which has now raised over $20,000 and is spreading across the nation with similar initiatives in Melbourne, Brisbane and Tasmania.
Medical staff working around the clock at Wollongong Hospital just have to go or ring the nearby Meni Cafe in Crown Street to get their free cup of coffee or tea.
At time of publication almost $4000 had been donated to Meni Cafe specifically for the Buy Them A Coffee Wollongong campaign.
Sally O'Brien, the Wollongong campaign coordinator, said the @buythemacoffee initiative started after a friend of hers felt compelled to show her gratitude for healthcare workers and help them during the COVID-19 crisis.
"She went online and asked some healthcare communities what would be meaningful during this time. The majority of them said it would simply be a cup of coffee," she said.
O'Brien said she wanted to do her bit also in supporting her community of Wollongong and the Illawarra's frontline healthcare workers.
"I'm happy to say we've seen similar positive reactions to the campaign across other regions. @buythemacoffee is now supporting healthcare workers in Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Queensland," she said.
Meni Cafe director Ximena (Meni) Jacque appreciated the business and was glad to participate in such a great cause.
"We feel blessed to be a part of an initiative that is helping both healthcare workers and small businesses that have to adapt and reinvent themselves to fit these uncertain and unpredictable times," Jacque said.
"We are so thankful for Sally O'Brien for reaching out and starting this in Wollongong.
"We have been overwhelmed with the generosity and support that we have received over the past few days, and this initiative has allowed the community to show their support while social-distancing."
O'Brien added it was good to see that social media was a platform of support for healthcare workers in many ways.
"Waking up and seeing the pictures and Instagram stories come in from the healthcare workers across all the different regions fills me with happiness.
"It's a testament to the positive power of social media, and how a small cuppa can fill many people's hearts."
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