SPOKANE, Wash --- Hospitals in Las Vegas are receiving gifts and well wishes from across the country to support victims of the shooting on Sunday.
More than 500 people were injured in the shooting, so many local hospitals have a lot of patients. Somewhere along the way people started sending things to the hospitals to support the victims.
This started with a random act of kindness. Three yellow balloons, a teddy bear and a greeting card was delivered at random to a victim of the Las Vegas shooting by a Spokane local.
“It was so easy, so I thought I would share my experience because I thought other people might want to help too,” said Kristi Ward, a local who wanted to help.
Ward called the gift shop in the University Medical Center hospital where many of the victims were recovering to see if she could send anything to them. She ended up sending the balloons, bear and greeting card. Ward encouraged her friends to do the same.
“Nurses, doctors and staff at UMC were able to get some of the flowers and the teddy bears and chocolates,” said Ward.
It turned out that other people were interested in sending gifts too.
Ward said her friends and family responded, but strangers were also excited to follow her act of kindness.
“It touched me,” said Carrie Everman-Pettibone, a local who was inspired by the giving.
Ward and Everman-Pettibone do not know each other either, they are just two good Samaritans.
Everman-Pettibone thought this could be her way of helping. She is not alone either, many people in Spokane and from around the country want to help.
The University Medical Center store said people have been including personal care items the victims might need. Items like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and hairbrushes.
The two women did not know how the gift shop would respond to their requests.
“I picked up the phone once and then I put it down. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it, I just thought how are they going to react to this? Are they going to be receptive? Then I thought I have to do this,” said Everman-Pettibone.
The gift shop was overjoyed by the phone calls coming in.
“They had an assortment of cards, it was really sweet and they were reading them all saying, ‘there is one with kittens and sunshine,’” said Ward.
“I wanted something happy, so it was a vase full of daisies and a happy face balloon,” said Everman-Pettibone.
Everman-Pettibone called at the perfect moment too.
“She said there just happened to be a family here now that is going up to see their family member that was shot, could we go ahead and give it to them,” said Everman-Pettibone.
The gift store asked if she wanted to attach a message to the gift.
“I said, just say love from Spokane,” said Everman-Pettibone.