Willard family starts COVID-19 care packages after losing father

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –After losing a loved one to COVID-19, a family in Willard has started creating care packages for COVID patients in the hospital. 

Bob Nothum died after battling COVID-19. His daughter, Sara Walters, said her dad had a hard time when he was in the hospital.

“Getting his phone calls, you could hear it in his voice that it was just lonely and isolated,” Walters said.

Walters said the loneliness was something her dad never wanted the other COVID patients to experience. Visiting a loved one in the hospital isn’t possible if they have COVID-19. She said Bob asked his family to help the other patients by bringing in posters and gifts.

“So people could have something to hope for,” Walters said.

The request, Walters said, sparked the idea for the COVID CARE Project. It’s an effort to bring care packages full of blankets, snacks and notes to COVID-19 patients.

“We thought let’s start his project that he wanted to do when he was alive, let’s start it now,” Walters said.

Walters said the project began immediately.

“He died on a Tuesday, his funeral was on a Saturday, and we started it probably Wednesday, so it was probably a day after,” Walters said.

“People started donating money automatically. People started asking how they could donate goods.”

She said Bob’s entire family helps out with the project.

“My parents have seven children, there are four girls and three boys, and amongst us we have 30 kids, so my parents have 30 grandkids 18 and younger,” Walters said.

Although Bob died recently, Walters said this effort helps her family feel closer to him.

CoxHealth Registered Nurse, Joanna Schroeder, said local COVID-19 patients are thankful for the project.

“They were touched, they cried, they cuddled the stuffed animals, they enjoyed the soft blanket so much and it brought color to a really kind of bland and dismal environment,” Schroeder said.

Click here to find out more about the project. The family has a Venmo account to accept donations. The username is @CovidCare21. The verification code is 1406.

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