OXFORD, Miss. —Winter weather is common in many states, but not Mississippi. A slight wintry mix or snow can create hazardous road conditions and make it very difficult to travel.
First-year law student Emmy Thrower’s mind immediately went to healthcare workers in the area. Thrower’s mother works as a neonatal nurse in Georgia, which made her familiar with the protocol for many hospitals in the South during winter weather.
“Whenever there is a chance of snow and a possibility that the nurses for the next day might not make it in, hospitals often have the staff spend the night wherever they can find room to put them,” Thrower, from Monroe, Georgia, said. “This puts a lot of nurses sleeping on benches, and without food for the next day if they didn’t see it coming.”
So when snow arrived in North Mississippi on Sunday, Thrower decided to make sure local healthcare workers were at least able to eat that day. She messaged her peers in the 1L group chat to see if she could raise a little bit of money to order food for local healthcare staff. She never expected to raise more than $20 or so to place a pizza order. Within 10 minutes, the 1Ls raised $170. After 20 minutes, that total climbed to $316.
Thrower immediately called Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford to find out how many nurses and staff were in each unit. The class was able to send enough food to cover lunch for all 28 healthcare workers on-duty in the emergency room and intensive care unit at the hospital.
“Our health care team was pleasantly surprised with the meal donated by the first-year law students at Ole Miss last week during the snow day,” said Bill Henning, CEO and administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi. “We are grateful to have a community partner in the university to help provide care to Oxford and the surrounding communities.”
Because the class raised so much, she was also able to cover lunch for staffers at Rockdale Medical Center in Georgia, where her mom is a nurse. The remainder of the money was used to send dessert to the local fire department and police station. In total, they were able to provide food to more than 50 healthcare workers and first responders.
“I have some incredible classmates for making this happen,” she said. “A lot of us have parents, friends, or significant others in healthcare, so it meant a lot for us to be able to give back in some way.”