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Neighbors celebrate medical workers from their front yards

People came outside to cheer and make noise for a minute, celebrating healthcare workers.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s a battle each day when healthcare professionals head in to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and people have found some creative ways to say thanks for all the hard work.

“We just want to show our gratitude,” explains Barbara Wisse.

Wisse gathered her East Grand Rapids neighbors together to cheer for the healthcare workers who live nearby as they returned home from their shifts. She got the idea from people in New York City.

"They would lean out of their windows and clap as they went in for their shift and then it started all over in the city every night," says Wisse. "So a friend of mine said I wonder if anyone in Grand Rapids is doing this?”

Up and down the street, folks came out into their yards at 7 p.m. to cheer and make noise for a minute, celebrating healthcare workers like Ulrich Duffer, who works at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

"It feels good, I think it’s a great neighborhood," says Duffer. "I was very glad when my wife told me what was going on today, I just came home from work in time so I can join it.”

Wisse’s plan is to do the same thing every Friday night and hopes others follow along.

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