Giving comfort to COVID-19 warriors

As Cayman’s nurses continue to work long hours in the COVID-19 fight, often at great personal sacrifice, one local boutique is looking to help them rest easier through a new initiative that honours their call to duty.

The team at Vy’s Closet, owned by Department of Tourism Director Rosa Harris, has launched the ‘Comfort Project’, an initiative started in Chicago by businesswoman Larisa Olson to reward nurses for their efforts during the pandemic.

Harris said she wanted to do the same for nurses in Cayman.

“COVID-19 has been life changing for all of us. We don’t know what essential staff have been going through. For a regular person, being able to work from home and choose whether to have my groceries delivered or if I go out or not [is an option]. Essential staff do not have that choice,” she said in a recent interview with the Cayman Compass via Zoom.

“They leave their families every day. They work long hours. They understand this threat and know the reality of it a lot more than the regular person. We’re just doing our part to be able to give them a bit of comfort after a long day of seeing a very real thing unfold,” she said.

What is the Comfort Project?

The Comfort Project gives donations of personal items, such as sleepwear or lounge wear, and beauty products to nurses.

Rosa Harris, owner of Vy’s Closet. – Photo: Reshma Ragoonath

Vy’s Closet, which is located in Bayshore Mall, is an intimate-apparel shop that offers custom-fitted bras.

Harris said she wanted to make use of her supplies to give nurses in Cayman a treat as she has not been able to open her store since the lockdown began in March.

She has created $50 gift bags with her products.

She said having seen both the impact and importance of essential workers, she was inspired to do something to make Cayman’s nurses feel appreciated and loved.

“We’re a very up-close-and-personal business. Our clients come in, they ask for advice, we do measurements, and we know that that is not going to be status quo or normal operating procedures moving forward. When we were presented with this concept (the Comfort Project), it just felt right. It felt like we are still uplifting women, uplifting the community, and also playing our part,” she said.

She added that the Caribbean Utilities Company has signed up as a sponsor and has donated 50 bags to the nurses at the Health Services Authority, which will be delivered this week.

“We just want to be able to give them [nurses] a big hug through pyjamas and lounge wear and have them curl up with their favourite cup of tea or snack after a long day and feel comforted in sleepwear, courtesy of Vy’s Closet and our corporate sponsors,” she said.

Some of the bags that will be donated to nurses at the Cayman Islands hospital and Faith Hospital sponsored by CUC and BHML. – Photo: Reshma Ragoonath

Local firm BHML has signed up to gift all 23 nurses at Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac.

Harris said the goal was also to treat the 260 nurses at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, as well as as at Doctors Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands.
She added male nurses will be included in the initiative.

“We’re all about equal opportunity, and we do offer underpinnings for men as well, [such as] boxers, tanks and T-shirts,” she said.

For more information or to get involved, email Vy’s Closet at [email protected] or call 916-8292.

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