Safeway delivers thousands of tulips for Nurse Appreciation Week amid COVID-19

SEATTLE - Communities across the country are taking time to acknowledge the people hard at work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safeway of Albertsons Companies celebrated National Nurses Day and Nurse Appreciation Week with the help of its customers.

Safeway delivered 7,000 bunches of tulips to hospitals across Washington, northern Idaho and Alaska Wednesday.

The stores and their customers wanted to thank nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

“People are scared during times like this, times of crisis." said Shyla Kinsley, the store manager of Safeway on Roosevelt Way in Seattle. "We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. And to see people willing to still give back, still show appreciation for people that are putting their lives on the line essentially, it’s heartwarming."

Customers at Kinsley’s store raised $2,700 in one week towards the tulip donations.

Kinsley said she understands the commitment of essential work in these tough times.

“We see a little bit of that in the grocery business, but nothing compared to what doctors and nurses are doing day in and day out,” said Kinsley.

Nurses at Harborview Medical Center, greeted with a bright bouquet, said the token of appreciation was a nice break from their heavy workload inside.

“The COVID patients have definitely taken more time and energy for us," said Lauren Tapp, a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center.

Even as COVID-19 continues impacting so many people in so many ways, nurses said the donations gave them much needed encouragement.

“Especially the people that are caring so much about us in a time when they themselves are stretched and stressed and overwhelmed," said Tapp. "It just blows my mind they are willing to reach out and help comfort and support us."

It has been more than 100 days since Washington’s first confirmed coronavirus case was reported.

Though nurses and healthcare workers continue their sacrifice in the outbreak, they said they aren’t in the fight alone and will share the token of appreciation they received.

Safeway representatives said hospitals in all three states received up to 625 bunches of tulips, with 10 tulips per bunch.

All of the flowers were provided by RoozenGaarde in Skagit County.