The Facebook group Flower Mound People Helping People was created by local resident Tracy Black at the start of the pandemic last spring to help aid community members in need during the newly unprecedented times. As the group evolved over the months, they expanded their volunteerism to include monitoring elderly residents who needed groceries to donating hot meals and snacks to frontline workers.
During this past winter storm, Tracy and volunteers from the Facebook group came together to help healthcare workers get to and from their shifts at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound.
Tracy and his wife have lived in Flower Mound for over 26 years. Before relocating to Texas, they lived in Minneapolis and learned to drive and safely navigate through the snow and wintry conditions.
The hospital’s Director of Marketing, Pam Petrides, stated that without Tracy and his group of volunteers, the hospital would have faced a staffing shortage. “I can’t tell you how many text messages Tracy and I exchanged in order to help coordinate rides for our frontline workers who keep our hospital staffed around the clock.” Many of the healthcare professionals live in neighboring cities. Therefore, the volunteers drove anywhere from Fort Worth to Denton in order to get hospital employees to and from work safely. “We were so fortunate,” Pam said. “We did not have any staffing issues because of Tracy’s group. They kept our hospital workers safe. They kept the hospital staffed, and as a result, the patients here were able to continue receiving the care and treatment required.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Tracy had asked Pam if he could help coordinate hot meals for the healthcare workers. “One of our group’s first activities was related to Flower Mound Presby,” stated Tracy. As their efforts continued, they began including the Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Corinth police departments, as well as local area fire departments.
As the group continued to expand its efforts, it began taking up food and snack donations to put together snack packs for frontline workers. “People and businesses would put their donations outside their front doors, and Tracy and his group of volunteers would pick them up before putting together pre-packaged snack packs for the nurses, doctors, and staff,” Pam states. He also organized a number of drive-thru parades for the community to come together in the hospital parking lot to show their support and appreciation for the essential workers. This past June, the group collected items for food pantries in Flower Mound and Grapevine.
“Things moved back toward normal once people started going back to work and getting businesses back up, so there were no specific campaigns for us to do until now,” Tracy said. “This campaign is over now, but the stories we heard, and the memories we made getting to know some of the awesome folks at Flower Mound Presby, will stay with us for a long time!”
photos courtesy of Texas Health Presbyterian, Flower Mound