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MN nurse raising money, PPE, food and housing for frontline health workers

She had to leave the COVID-19 effort, so she's helping another way.

Though she can't be on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic herself, she's found another way to help her fellow healthcare workers.

Megan Chao Smith, a registered nurse in Minneapolis, found herself deep in the battle against coronavirus recently when her team was designated as her hospital's COVID-19 unit. 

However, she was soon forced to make "the heart-wrenching decision to resign" in order to prevent bringing coronavirus home to her wife and daughter, according to the GoFundMe effort she helped organize.

"But she cannot stop thinking about her second family - her coworkers, risking their lives every day, many of whom don't have the option to walk away as their family’s only source of income," the page says. 

So, now, she's dedicating her time to "delivering urgent support and aid to Minneapolis’ frontline healthcare workers."

That support and aid includes personal protective equipment (PPE), food and "alternate housing" — in other words, places for medical personnel to stay so they don't infect their loved ones if they contract coronavirus at work. 

The relief effort is "hoping to secure" such options as "vacant Airbnbs, unused rooms, RV’s or garages at peoples’ homes, that healthcare workers can use as a temporary home-away-from-home in order to protect their families."

Food, meanwhile, will be delivered with "handmade signs and cards, so nurses know the community is behind them," the GoFundMe says, noting that this is also a way to support local restaurants. 

The group is also seeking donations of money to help the state's medical workers; as of this writing, they've raised over $6,000 — exceeding the initial $5,000 goal. 

Aside from the money, they've also received donations of face masks and plastic face shields. 

If you're interested in helping, Chao Smith has this message about the difference basic items can make to those dealing with the pandemic every day:

You can donate to the fundraiser by clicking right here. 

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