STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT (WFSB) -- Throughout the pandemic, we have been sharing stories of frontline workers going the extra mile to help patients during these trying times.

This week, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad thanks an emergency room nurse who is going above and beyond to take care of patients who are homeless.

A pile of clothes may look just like that to most people, but if you’re homeless, those items might help safe a life and keep someone warm in the winter.

They’re clothing, plus tents and sleeping bags for hospital patients who are homeless that are being collected by Jennifer Foster, nurse manager of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs.

One day, when she thought she was stepping outside for a group photo, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad surprised her with a $500 American Express gift card for all of the wonderful charity work she does.

“We have a large population of homeless people in our area and with COVID. The shelters, they are waitlisting people, so the homeless population doesn’t have a place to go,” Foster said.

She started program to help homeless patients.

That’s why Jen started collecting tents and other items that might help people through the winter.

Her mom, who nominated her for the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad, admires Jen’s dedication to patients even after they are discharged from the hospital.

“I’m very proud of her. For everything she is trying to do and help people that are homeless. Making sure that they get through the winter,” said Eve Kingsley, Jennifer’s mother.

Jennifer’s idea has now become a project the entire ER staff are working on to help homeless patients.

“She got some great information from a class that she’s taking and then she brought all that information here to Johnson and used it in a great way to kind of help our community and also engage her staff who also absolutely adore her so it’s just a win, win for everybody,” said Susan D’Amico, vice president of Patient Care Services.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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