Covenant School group visits VUMC as part of “1,000 thank yous” campaign
Expressing gratitude with words, presence and spray paintOctober 20, 2023
A group from the Covenant School and Covenant Presbyterian Church visited VUMC to thank Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Hospital employees for support after the school shooting on March 27. The visit was part of the “1,000 thanks yous” campaign Covenant is carrying to thank the Nashville community for support following the tragedy. “No words will be enough. No word can begin to touch our gratitude for all of you,” Mary Craig Tortorice, a Covenant School mother and employee, told the VUH and Monroe Carell care teams during the gathering.
All photos by Susan Urmy
“Loves endures all.” That is the mark of the “1,000 thank yous” campaign launched by the Covenant School and Covenant Presbyterian Church to express gratitude for the outpouring of support they have received since tragedy struck their community March 27.
Nashville’s community proved that March day (and well after) that love truly endured following the Covenant School shooting tragedy that took the precious lives of six people – three adults and three 9-year-old children.
Since September, members of the Covenant School and Church communities have been spray painting temporary “thank you” stencils on sidewalks of homes, businesses and organizations around the city as part of the campaign.
An entire community of people stepped up to help on March 27, and among those helpers were the health care teams of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Hospital who were in involved that day in caring for the faculty and children as well as their families. A group of about 15 adults and children from Covenant recently stopped by Monroe Carell and VUH to say thank you.
“No words will be enough. No word can begin to touch our gratitude for all of you,” Mary Craig Tortorice, a Covenant School mother and employee, told the VUH and Monroe Carell care teams during “1,000 thank yous” gathering.
About 30 hospital team members joined the group in the Friends Garden of Monroe Carell. Covenant students took turns using spray paint chalk to color in the “thank you” stencils across the concrete. The Covenant students and parents then went over to VUH to share their gratitude with the care teams there.
“In this time of immense pain and darkness, we needed a light. In more ways than one, the Nashville community made that light shine brighter than we could have ever imagined.”
“Our hearts and prayers remain with the entire Covenant School community as the students, faculty and families continue to heal and come together to love and support one another. We are truly humbled to be a part of the ‘1,000 thanks yous’ journey throughout Nashville,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Monroe Carell. “Our covenant with our Nashville community is to care for children and families and to wrap our arms around them in their greatest time of need to provide hope and healing. I am so incredibly proud of our health care teams — that day and every day — for their compassion and unwavering dedication to the children and families we serve. This time together was healing for participants of both the Covenant School and Monroe Carell.”
The school’s Facebook page describes the intent behind “1,000 thank yous” campaign: “The tragedy that unfolded that day left our students, families, teachers, and staff shattered and in desperate need of care, embrace, and, most of all, love. In this time of immense pain and darkness, we needed a light. In more ways than one, the Nashville community made that light shine brighter than we could have ever imagined. In the hours, days, weeks, and months following that horrific day, the people and businesses of Nashville provided that care. They embraced us unconditionally, and they showed an abundance of love. The people of Nashville were there when most needed, and now Covenant wants to say thank you.”