Finding the Helpers: Local nurse creates Red Heart Award to honor essential workers


LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — A newly created award out of the Inland Northwest is honoring essential workers around the world.

The Red Heart Award was created by Jon Clifton, a local nurse and veteran.

“This pin is to honor that individual for the courage and bravery that they show everyday,” said Clifton.

Clifton personally awarded the pins to two caregivers with Home Care Assistance in Liberty Lake.

“It’s a blessing because most people just see us and think we’re doing it for a paycheck and that’s not what we’re doing it for. We’re doing it because we care for them,” said Appalonia VerCauteren.

VerCauteren and nearly 500 of her fellow caregivers with Home Care Assistance received a pin to recognize their work taking care of the elderly.

Clifton started the Red Heart Award as part of the Caring with Courage campaign in late March 2020.

Each pin costs $2.00 and raises money for the Crisis Text Line which provides counseling services 24 hours a day in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

“In the month of March alone [Crisis Text Line] had a 40% increase just from healthcare workers contacting them,” said Clifton.

Nearly 4800 Red Heart Awards have been sold and sent to 43 states, the District of Columbia and England to only honor those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pins and donor partner levels can be purchased at the Caring for Courage website here.

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