When Westporter Ellie Magunson learned that her friend Jacqueline Fabius — COO of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco — was part of a group on the front lines of COVID-19 research, she told her family.
Her son Gavin — a 3rd grader at Kings Highway Elementary School — is very interested in science. Her daughter Hanna is part of the “Kindness Squad” there.
So when — as part of the Westport schools’ distance learning program — students were encouraged to spread kindness, Ellie and her children decided to thank Jacqueline’s team of scientists.
They wrote messages of encouragement on a postcard, then texted it to her.
The COO was thrilled. She asked for the actual card, to hang in the UCSF office.
Then — just before QBI director Dr. Nevan Krogan’s 4:30 a.m. live interview with “Good Morning America” — Jacqueline texted it to him. He said it gave him “a total boost.”
Ellie was surprised that one postcard from a couple of kids was valued so highly by scientists working on the most important project in the world.
Then she realized, they probably don’t get thanked much — or even recognized for the work they do.
So, Ellie thought, why not gather more words of gratitude?
She looked online for a free, easy way of collecting video messages. She found Tribute, shared it with friends all around town, and euraka! The tribute was made.
USCF shared it with their collaborative partners: Mt. Sinai in New York, and Paris’ Pasteur Institute.
The scientists — some of the most respected and important researchers in the world — loved it.
They responded with their own thanks:
- “That is so adorable, and just what I needed as I struggle to keep my energy up. My lab is going to love this!”
- “Ok, well this is the best thing I have ever seen — hands down!”
- “Remarkable and heart warming.”
- “I am trembling and of course crying. It’s wonderful!”
- “Love. Love. Love. Thank you for sharing! Watched it with my kids!”
“So many first responders and vital workers deserve our thanks these days,” Ellie says. “Let’s not forget the unseen scientists who are doing so much to actually bring this virus to its knees.”
To learn more about QBI’s work, or donate to their research efforts, click here.
Then go thank every scientist you know!