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Vanderbilt doctors raising money for V.A. hospital custodial crew

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 23:30:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Health care workers have been fighting non-stop against COVID-19. While many doctors and nurses are being praised for their deserving efforts, they are now extending the recognition.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors Michelle Izmaylov, Eric Zabriskie and Thea Swenson have been serving front and center during the pandemic.

However, they say there’s another set of heroes fighting at the hospitals everyday.

"That’s our custodial staff, they're also there early in the morning and late in the evening; and we thought that they weren’t receiving that recognition that we were, so we want to extend that applause to them as well," said Swenson.

Izmaylov and Swenson created a GofundMe account for the 68 custodians at the on-campus Nashville Veterans Affairs Hospital. They have already exceeded their goal of $2000.

The donations will be used to buy gift cards for the custodial staff.

"It is custodians like Tommy, a friend and personal hero, who inspire me. And I thank our Nashville community and you for helping us support these frontline heroes," said Izmaylov.

Since the start of the fundraiser, several businesses stepped up to help custodians as well.

The Starbucks Armed Forces Network and Military Commitment program offered 68 Starbucks gift cards, each valued at $10, to be gifted to the Nashville V.A hospital custodians.

Crocs offered 68 pairs of Crocs Classic Clogs for the custodians as part of a larger donation made on behalf of country singer Luke Combs.

All messages left on the GoFundMe account will be turned into handwritten thank you cards.

If you want to donate or say thank you to the custodians on the front lines, head to the gofundme page for more information.