Bridge Church surprises EAMC-Lanier with Easter boxes

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 11, 2020

VALLEY — The Bridge Church in Beulah had a Good Friday surprise for the employees of EAMC-Lanier Hospital. Pastor Bill Bryan and Dale Johnson had a carload of more than 170 boxes with all sorts of Easter season surprises sure to lift anyone’s spirit.

“We wanted to have a little bit of everything in each box, something for everyone in the family,” Bryan said. “Children should really like it.”

Each shoebox-sized container was filled with snacks, keepsake items and an encouraging message.

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“Right now, each one of you is on the front line of battling this coronavirus disease,” it reads. “COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly across our nation, state and community. Every day, hospital workers are heroically putting themselves in the path of this virus. Each one of you in patient care is rising to the occasion and caring for our most vulnerable residents. From everyone at The Bridge Church, thank you for the sacrifices you are making, sacrifices you are making every day in fighting this pandemic.”

Bryan and Johnson were met at the hospital’s main entrance by Cindy Brooks, EAMC-Lanier’s director of business development, occupational health and wellness, who helped them load the boxes onto a cart and to take it inside the building.

“We want everyone here to know we appreciate what you do,” Bryan said. “It takes so much courage to do what hospital workers do every day. It must be heartbreaking for doctors and nurses to go home every day and not be able to hug their family members because of social distancing.”

“We have awesome people,” Brooks replied. “They do great work on behalf of the community.”

EAMC-Lanier has approximately 215 people on all its shifts. There’s no elective surgery going on at either EAMC-Lanier or at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

Both facilities are treating patients with COVID-19. with EAMC in Opelika having all the serious cases. There are protocols in place in case hospital workers at either location become infected.

After leaving EAMC-Lanier, Bryan and Johnson took some Good Friday boxes to another group of community heroes, the firefighters with the Beulah Fire Department.

The Bridge Church is normally packed for its Easter services. This year, people will be watching online. Two of its members work for EAMC.

Mandy Daniel works in the office at EAMC-Lanier and Sharon Fox is a nurse at EAMC in Opelika.

“We have members who live as far from Beulah as Phenix City, Beauregard and LaFayette,” Bryan said. “We have one couple who would drive every Sunday from Toccoa, Georgia. It was part of coming back home to visit family. Their parents still live here.”

The Bridge Church has become tech savvy. They have their own church app, a YouTube page and a Facebook page.

“We are trying to stay positive,” Bryan said. “

Dale does a good job with his Sharing Hope feature. He did some shooting this morning.”

Brooks had a very busy noon hour at the hospital entrance. In addition to helping unload and take in the Good Friday boxes, she also helped bring in some Good Friday lunches. David Strickland brought pizza on behalf of the Springwood baseball program and Kentucky Fried Chicken brought meals for the staff at the testing tent, the emergency room staff and the hospital’s nurses.

On Monday, Curt Sims of Ra-Larms Security Systems of Lanett will be treating the staff with barbecue sandwiches from Chuck’s. On Tuesday morning, Johnny’s Pizza of West Point will be cooking personal pan pizza on the hospital grounds.