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A thousand 'thank-you's, one coffee at a time

a thousand 'thank-you's

Steven Cowan and grandson Sawyer


Back in mid-March, Hopeville resident Steven Cowan was feeling the pressure of COVID-19. Steven’s mother was a nursing teacher at Sick Kids Hospital for many years, and Steven has relied on care from the Markdale hospital from time to time. “I felt like I had to do something” said Cowan. He decided to call the hospital to see if he could bring the staff coffee.

The staff set up a protocol to accept delivery of beverages and snacks. On that first night, his daughter offered to pay for the first “run” and told Steven that he could get it next time.  From this — an idea was born.

Cowan started the Markdale Hospital — Support and Appreciation for Emergency Workers Facebook group. “It’s just coffee, but our goal is to help lift the spirits of healthcare workers. Burn out is real and they will be put to the test. The anticipation of what might come has got to be weighing on them. I wanted to let them know how much they were appreciated ” said Cowan.

Since then, it grew from being his daughter and himself — to a group 250 strong. The group started with Dundalk residents and soon grew to encompass individuals, businesses, and organizations from every corner of Southgate, Grey Highlands, West Grey, Chatsworth and even as far as Burlington and Toronto. Cowan set up the strategy, and an elaborate spread sheet which he watches over daily.

Since that day back in mid-March, coffee, tea, food, snacks, kids crafts, chocolates, thank you cards and (always) well wishes have been delivered to the hospital staff twice daily without fail, and it’s still going strong. This week marked a milestone with over 1000 beverages being delivered. This is quite a feat.

The hospital staff are so grateful for the support. Strong community support means a strong community hospital. To quote one of Steve’s Facebook posts…. “is this Awesome? Or Awesome?” To check in on this group, visit or join The Markdale Hospital – Support and Appreciation for Emergency Workers group on Facebook.


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Updated March 12, 2020.

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