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­­­­­Local Girl Scout troop leader spreads a little joy to local hospital

By MELISSA BILL - | Oct 6, 2021

Luzoneida Tirado, an ambassador for Girl Scout Troop 2055, and LRMC’s Jason Phillips show off the masks she made and donated to the hospital. PHOTO PROVIDED

news@breezenewspapers.com

Lehigh Regional Medical Center staff and administration were surprised with a donation of 200 masks to the hospital.

Jason Phillips, regional director for Patient Experience and the chaplain for the hospital for over 12 years, happened to be in the emergency room when an 18-year-old Girl Scout – turned – troop leader came in with her mother and told him they wanted to donate  some masks.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Luzoneida Tirado, an ambassador for Girl Scout Troop 2055, and her mom Onie Rivera, when they first came into the hospital. She showed up wanting to give of herself to the hospital. She said she wanted to donate masks and then spent a week working on this project. We saw a lot of this type of help in the beginning of the pandemic, but not as much lately,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, the hospital staff has seen rough times, even more difficult than ever, fighting COVID.

“Our staff is really giving so much — a year and a half with no relief from the trauma every day. Then she walked in and said this is my hospital and I want to do what I can to help,” Phillips said.

For Tirado, this was a gift which came straight from the heart.

“I was part of the Girl Scouts for many years and now I’m a Girl Scout leader for that same troop. I was working towards the Gold Award, which is the highest honor you could receive as a Girl Scout. I began to get the idea after COVID hit and started to see people wearing the same blue masks. I started thinking that these people, especially in hospitals, have to wear these masks every day. And I thought it might be nice to see masks that had different themes. I wanted to brighten up the days of people who are suffering the most right now. Give them hope,” Tirado said.

Tirado, who likes sewing, decided to put her talent to use.

“I enjoy sewing and that’s why I put those two things together. I made each mask by hand and they have different themes. For women, I made masks with blue butterflies, red with polka dots, Mulan, Muana, Olaf and Frozen, and other Disney princesses. For the men, I did storm troopers, Marvel, Mickey Mouse, comic designs, and ones with blue paint brush strokes,” Tirado said.

Tirado understands the stress that many experience being in the hospital. She and her family have spent most of their time in the hospitals the past few years.

“We know what it’s like to spend weeks at a time in the hospital. Then you see an adult with a Disney mask or a cool theme and you are going to laugh and connect with that person, whether they are a physician or nurse. It’s also a relief and a distraction for the staff,” Tirado said.

For more information on Lehigh Regional Medical Center visit www.lehighregional.com.