4-Year-Old Starts "Project Gratitude" For Healthcare Workers


HINGHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A boy from Hingham has inspired children on the South Shore to make dozens of signs expressing gratitude for their local healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Hingham Anchor, 4-year-old Braden Hussey and his parents talk about what they are grateful for every night before bedtime. That nightly discussion has taken on a new meaning during COVID-19, especially since Braden's father is a paramedic. Recently, Braden started asking how he could help his dad and others in the same line of work.

With some help from his mom Janelle, the pre-schooler decided to draw pictures with messages of kindness, love and support for the locals working on the frontlines.

Braden said he wanted to make sure the pictures wouldn't break, so the next morning, his mom cold-called a local printer in Norwell and asked if the pictures could be printed onto poster boards.

“I shared Braden’s idea with him and asked what it would cost to put a picture on a yard sign," Janelle Hussey told the Anchor. She said the company's owner, Bill Files was so impressed with Braden's idea, he told the family he would "love to help."

Files said he would print as many poster boards as Braden and his friends could make at no cost. He also told the Hussey family that his wife works at South Shore Hospital as the manager of Pastoral Care, so he knew the childrens' effort would lift the spirits of those at the facility.

Braden's school, Saint Paul School in Hingham, dubbed the effort "Project Gratitude," and encouraged nearly 50 other families to take part in creating the pictures.

Braden and his family drove around nine local towns, from Hingham to Weymouth to Hanson, picking up more than 130 pictures of positive inspiring messages drawn by local kids within 24 hours.

Once the signs were printed, the Hussey family staked them into the ground outside South Shore Hospital, to the sound of workers inside banging on the windows in thanks.

“It is so humbling to see such a simple idea from a 4-year old be embraced so quickly by an entire school and a businessman we had never before met," said Janelle Hussey. "This is a huge gift from a small business, especially at this challenging time."

(Photo: Getty Images)

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