Dave Bloom, owner of Pine Aire Truck Service in Bay Shore, New York, always has been committed to helping his community.
Bloom wanted to show how much he appreciates the nurses in his area of Nassau and Suffolk counties New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. He came up with an idea, but he had no idea it would take off nationally.
It began with the goal of wanting to recognize nurses, but he also wanted to include supporting local businesses. How do you do both at the same time? Bloom’s plan was to have people post on the Pine Aire Facebook page the name of their favorite nurse; anyone could post a name, including the nurse themselves. Winners would be picked out of a hat every Friday and they would receive a $100 gift certificate from their favorite restaurant.
End result: A dedicated nurse and a terrific local restaurant are both featured. Bloom thought he would pick one winner each week of April – four nurses and four restaurants.
But over the four-week period, the Pine Aire nurse-appreciation program grew beyond what Bloom thought it would. What started out as a great way to feature one nurse and one restaurant once a week grew from three nurses the first week, seven nurses the second, 18 the third week and 22 nurses by the fourth week. And keep in mind that a different local restaurant is promoted along with each nurse recognition.
Local New York business started to contribute the cost of the gift certificates. Bloom ended up giving away $5,000 to 50 deserving nurses.
And it didn’t stop there. During the month of April, other businesses across the country picked up on the program and started adapting it for their own community. This viral campaign to recognize nurses and local restaurants that began as a local fun but effective way to acknowledge nurses now has grown to more than 15 states, including Iowa, Colorado and Indiana – and Bloom’s idea continues to expand.
From the first post on Facebook, Bloom encouraged anyone anywhere to pick up the concept and do the same thing or adapt for their own city.
At this point, the Pine Aire Truck nurse’s-appreciation plan has recognized hundreds of nurses and local restaurants.
“In the midst of this crisis, we wanted to show appreciation for the nurses who have been putting themselves on the front lines as well as local restaurants that have been hit hard by COVID-19,” Bloom said. “I encourage any business to take this idea and make it their own to say thank you to nurses, or any first responders in your area.”
Pine Aire Truck Service is a client of DRIVE, a Monrovia, California-based consulting group.