Expressing a heartfelt thank-you sometimes brings unanticipated rewards.
Devyn Kubley, 6 years old and a second-grader at Auke Bay Elementary School, decided a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to thank the doctors and nurses who were "taking care of everybody" after the terrorism of Sept. 11 in New York City.
She painted a butterfly on a card and enclosed in it a note to the personnel at St. Mary's Hospital, which she had heard mentioned many times in news coverage of the events.
"For such a young child, she is a very compassionate person," said her mother, Tracy Kubley.
Devyn received a reply from Jean Haskin, vice president of nursing at St. Mary's, on Monday, thanking her for her "wonderful card" and saying it had been posted on the bulletin board there. Haskin also sent along flying discs, Band-Aid holders and T-shirts that Devyn could share with her older brother, Dylan, 9, said Tracy Kubley.
"Your card has lifted our spirits," Haskin wrote. "Thank you again for being so thoughtful."
St. Mary's is in Amsterdam, N.Y., a three-hour drive from ground zero, but its staff has been involved in many ways in the crisis caused by the fall of the World Trade Center towers, said Joanne Daisy, a nursing supervisor at the hospital.
"Some of our nurses have served in hospitals (in Manhattan) and others have been assigned to security or on stand-by," Daisy said. "A lot of our people have volunteered there." Daisy was familiar with Kubley's note, which was hanging near her as she spoke on the telephone.
"It's nice to let kids know their thoughts are appreciated," said Tracy Kubley, a bookkeeper for Club Pacific Charters.
"With everything going on back there, for them to stop and send her Frisbees and T-shirts was amazing.
The note itself was truly special. It makes you feel so good that as far away as they are, they are still hearing our prayers in such a scary time."
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.