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Snacks brighten medical workers’ day

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Jeremy Drexler and his stepsister R.N. Shelly Lamecker are pictured with a stack of donated snack items to NUMC.

By Clay Schuldt

Staff Writer

NEW ULM — New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) and other area healthcare providers received donations of a truck full of snack items Tuesday.

The donations came from Jeremy Drexler who works part-time in the family business of stocking vending machines and concession stands. Recently, he reached out on Facebook to find those willing to donate money to help community medical staff putting in extra hours during the COVID pandemic.

In a little over 24 hours, Drexler received approximately $2,500 in donations from 78 people and local businesses. He used these donations to provide local nursing staff with a sweet treat.

Drexler was aware of the need because his sisters are in the nursing profession.

“My sisters are working long hours and this is a token of appreciation,” he said.

The snacks were donated to 12 locations, including NUMC, area assisted living facilities, Sleepy Eye Medical Center, Mayo in Mankato and Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Drexler’s step-sister Shelly Lamecker, a registered nurse at NUMC, was on hand to help accept the snack donation.

Lamecker said the nurses were putting in long hours to care for patients, but this is why she became a nurse. These donations from the community did have a positive impact on staff that she said was felt ten-fold.

“It can be hard to find time for a break,” Lamecker said. “You need to grab a snack and go. We appreciate this donation.”

The Director of Patient Care at NUMC Jennifer Brehmer said this donation was wonderful for staff who were working hard. The donation showed the community recognized the efforts of medical staff.

“This is a day brightener,” Brehmer said.

The COVID pandemic is in its eighth month. Brown County has recently seen a surge in positive COVID cases, causing extra stress on the already overtaxed medical staff. Brehmer said everyone is putting in very long hours with very sick patients. Brehmer thanked Drexler and the community for this show of support and the public to continue taking the pandemic seriously by wearing a mask.

These care package donations are one of many ways the community is helping support the healthcare providers during this crisis.

Anyone interested in donating to NUMC is encouraged to contact Wellness Coordinator Jen Maurer.

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