Holy Cross students giving back to healthcare workers at Windsor Regional Hospital

AM800-News-Arina Punambolam

A donation to Windsor Regional Hospital in recognition of the hard work by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, students at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School in LaSalle handed over a cheque to the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation for $7,627, money raised over a nine-day period to purchase new defibrillators for the hospital.

The life-saving machine monitors someone’s heart rate after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, and deliver an electric shock to revive the heart.

The money was raised as part of the Heart to Heart charity, started by 14-year-old Arina Punambolam, a grade 8 student at the school. Her father is a doctor and she moved here with family from Vancouver in the summer of 2020.

Punambolam says her dad came home every day exhausted during the pandemic and she felt she should do something for healthcare workers who are working to keep our community safe.

She says she was surprised over how much they were able to raise.

"I didn't expect the amount of support that I would get from everybody and how enthusiastic they were about this cause," says Punambolam. "Everybody really stepped in and told their family and their friends. We really got the whole community involved donating for this amazing cause."

Punambolam says they have raised enough money to buy two defibrillators, with around $2,000 left over for a third.

"Honestly, it really didn't matter to me how much how much we raised or how much we supported it. I just really wanted to do something for the healthcare workers. I really wanted to show them that I do thank them and that the entire community continues to appreciate everything that they do," she adds.

As part of the effort, students were asked to commit to one random act of kindness every day for the duration of the initiative, which took place during the Lenten season. Pupils also collected pledges from family and friends.

"I was pleased with her mature understanding of the effects that the pandemic has had on everyone and her desire to turn a negative situation into an opportunity to help others," says Sandy Colautti, the school’s Vice-Principal, who worked with Punambolam on the effort.