Girl Scout creates gift bag program for hospital workers after her great-grandma recovers from COVID-19

Megan Johnson
·4 mins read
Skyla Marroquin, 12, created a gift bag program in honor of area nurses. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin, 12, created a gift bag program in honor of area nurses. (Photo: April Guajardo)

Skyla Marroquin has kept busy this summer vacation.

A rising 7th grader from McAllen, Texas, 12-year-old Marroquin wanted to do something nice for the health care workers who cared for her beloved great-grandmother, whom she calls GG, when she was hospitalized with COVID-19 in July. When she and her mother went to hold up homemade signs outside GG’s hospital windows, it was the nurses who got the ailing woman up from her hospital bed to see Skyla and the family outside.

“The main inspiration was basically from my great-grandma, who was sick with COVID for 20 days,” Marroquin told Yahoo Life. “So we went to go visit her with our signs, and hoped she would see us because she was on the fourth floor. I was really grateful because her nurses helped her get up to see us. I wanted to thank the nurses. And that’s how the idea began.”

Wanting to do something special for the health care workers, Marroquin created the McAllen Nurse Care Kit Project, filling gallon-sized bags with treats ranging from granola bars and chips to pens and notepads. Each bag, which comes with a handwritten card thanking them for their hard work and dedication, was delivered to McAllen Medical Center, the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen and Edinburg Regional Hospital, where GG was treated.

“So they have something to munch on during their lunch break if they don’t have anything with them, or they need something to snack on, and they also contain a handwritten card to show that we appreciate them,” Marroquin told Yahoo.

Skyla Marroquin picks up supplies. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin picks up supplies. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin delivers a pack of gift bags to hospital workers. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin delivers a pack of gift bags to hospital workers. (Photo: April Guajardo)

As her efforts gained momentum, Marroquin recruited 65 of her fellow troop members from the McAllen Girl Scouts Service Unit to help. After creating 213 kits with friends and family, the Girl Scouts packed an additional 200 — bringing the total to 413 kits for the hospitals.

“I’ve learned that even if it’s just a little tiny thing — for example, if I were to give a nurse a granola bar — they’re still going to appreciate it, and still know that someone is there thinking of them,” says Marroquin, who will receive a Girl Scout patch for her hard work. “And thanking them for their service, no matter how small it is, from a small cookie to a whole bouquet of flowers, they’re still going to know that someone’s there and that someone is thinking of them.”

Skyla Marroquin and her mother, April Guajardo, drop off supplies to an area hospital. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin and her mother, April Guajardo, drop off supplies to an area hospital. (Photo: April Guajardo)

Marroquin’s mother April Guajardo is extremely proud of her daughter’s hard work.

“I’m just proud that she took the time, because it was hours, from the packing of the kits, organizing and writing those handmade cards,” said Guajardo. “I’m really glad she was able to do this experience because this summer wasn’t the same as it is usually, but it’s good we made it a little bit more impactful to the community.”

Luckily, GG has since been released from the hospital and is back home recovering. Skyla was even able to visit her great-grandmother recently and tell her about all her hard work.

“She loves it,” said Guajardo. “She’s glad that Skyla was able to help.”

Skyla Marroquin visits with her great-grandmother, GG, after she was released from the hospital. (Photo: April Guajardo)
Skyla Marroquin visits with her great-grandmother, GG, after she was released from the hospital. (Photo: April Guajardo)

Marroquin isn’t stopping just quite yet. Though she’s gearing up to head back to school, she’s hoping to expand the McAllen Nurse Care Kit Project to another hospital.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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