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Local woman shows appreciation to healthcare workers with ‘Operation Heroes in Scrubs’, community help



TOPEKA, Kan. – A Meriden woman is giving back to employees at a Topeka hospital for the kindness they showed her family during the pandemic.

Jenny Brading and her family had to get tested for Covid-19 in November through Stormont Vail. Brading’s daughter was the only one who tested positive. Brading said their experience with the staff was so positive and helpful, that she wanted to show her appreciation for them. So she went straight to Facebook, asking friends to help her collect things like hand sanitizer, snacks and even chocolate for the people working with Covid-19 patients.

“I had started it out just because of the Covid Hotline drive-thru at Stormont Vail,” Brading said. “I wanted to thank them for how nice they were and stuff like that. My daughter was a little apprehensive about getting it because everybody talks about how fun it is. Anyways, they just made her feel wonderful. So I just wanted to start something to say thank you.”

The donations came pouring in as people in the community, and even people in other states sent her items and money. Now, before she could start handing stuff out, she needed a name.

“I actually was substitute teaching one day and trying to think of a name for it, and I couldn’t,” she said. “And the kids were just kind of being silly and sassy, and so I was like, ‘wait a minute! I need help with getting a name for this.’ One of my little kids was like, ‘Operation Heroes in Scrubs.’ So a fifth-grader is who we thank for the name of this from Jefferson West.”

Thanks to the student, Brading was able to get “Operation Heroes in Scrubs” going. She first dropped the bags off to the Covid hotline employees. Then, she made her way to Stormont Vail and St. Francis. Brading wants to start passing out items to other floors in the hospital eventually.

“They’re all important,” she said. “I don’t want anybody to feel like just because they’re on the Covid line, that those guys are the only ones that matter to the community. They do matter. They’re first on the line and we had to start somewhere. But every nurse in there is making an impact on somebody’s lives.”