URBANA — Kate Maggio’s relationship with local do-gooders Robyn and Mike Deterding has paid off for her co-workers at Carle.
Maggio is a critical-care advanced practice nurse at the hospital, responsible for taking care of critically ill COVID-19 patients in the intensive-care unit.
When things started to get crazy, “in typical fashion for those two, the first thing (Robin) asked was ‘What can we do? Can we bring you food?’” Maggio said. “First I thought just for me, but then she asked how many nurses and doctors were working.”
What started as providing hospital staff with something to eat last weekend snowballed into area restaurants donating meals for the next several weekends.
Maggio “mentioned that on weekends, dining services are very limited, practically nothing, and staff were struggling to get food,” Robyn Deterding said. “We were just going to take her food but got to thinking, maybe local restaurants might donate, so we called Jimmy John’s.”
After Robyn posted photos of the exchange on Facebook, friends, family, work acquaintances and neighbors asked how they could help.
Between calling, picking up and delivering food donated from local restaurants, Robin said, about 10 people are involved.
With everyone’s efforts, every weekend, except for one at the end of April, is covered.
Hickory River Smokehouse, Wood N’ Hog BBQ, Bunny’s, Monical’s and Subway are among the participating restaurants so far.
The Deterdings typically show up outside the hospital with the food. Maggio will push a cart toward them, they’ll fill it up and push it back, filled with enough food for the 30 or so staffers who work weekends — and others in the emergency room or on busy floors of the hospital.
The Deterdings’ philosophy in life: “It’s not our job to see through people but to see people through.”
Maggio has known the couple since the 1990s, when Mike coached her Champaign Central High School volleyball team. She used to baby-sit their children, and Mike has even coached her daughter.
The staff has “been so appreciative. ... They’re so grateful. So happy,” Maggio said.
“People are working awfully hard to keep us healthy and safe,” said Robin, who also advises that those wanting to make monetary donations purchase gift cards from participating restaurants, and they will be given to the staff at Carle or another hospital.
“A lot of people are wanting to do something, and the need is there,” she said.