Coronavirus: Santa Cruz hospital workers react to surprise bonuses after $1 million donation

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- We are hearing from the Santa Cruz hospital workers who are getting bonuses thanks to a $1 million donation to Dignity Health Dominican Hospital during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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"I don't think anyone could have ever imagined that kind of thank you. It's amazing to be able to share with the whole hospital team," said nursing supervisor Amy Loudon. "Everybody working together and getting thanked together. It's great. It's a really nice feeling."

The local donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, included a letter directed to all hospital employees.

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"To the heroes of Dominican Hospital: Thank you for standing up (and staying up!) to care for our community. This human kindness is what makes you heroic. Please accept this donation in recognition of and with great thanks for all that you do. And please know that my heart is with you as we seek to protect and care for each other during this challenging time."

Full-time workers will each get an $800 bonus check, including nurses, cleaning staff, lab technicians, and security guards. Part-time workers will receive $600 within the next 30 days, announced the hospital on Monday.

"From a fundraising perspective, from a philanthropy perspective, this is truly a unique gift," said Drew Gagner, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Dominican Hospital Foundation.

It was the donor's wish to provide employees with a check to thank and support hospital staff specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the hospital. The surprise gift is a boost to both the employees' finances and morale during an uncertain and scary time.

"We're ready. We're feeling safe. We're feeling protected and we're feeling like we can do this," said Loudon.

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