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Taylor Swift’s COVID-19 philanthropy is going beyond traditional charity donations. The singer sent a thank you gift to Utah nurse Whitney Hilton, who volunteered in New York to help Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center treat coronavirus patients in the height of the state’s crisis. New York has the most COVID-19 cases in the country so far. Hilton is a registered nurse at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.
Hilton had just returned home to celebrate her 30th birthday. Swift surprised her and sent Hilton a Lover merchandise bundle and a handwritten note thanking her for her work on the front lines. Hilton shared photos of the gift on her Twitter, writing, “I need to PUBLICLY THANK TAYLOR SWIFT @taylorswift & @taylornation13 @treepaine for sending me a box full of Merch & a PERSONALIZED LETTER from Taylor herself for my 30th birthday/for going to NYC to help as a nurse. This was quite literally the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.”
According to People, Swift wrote in the letter, “I wanted to send you some presents and to let you know I am so grateful for you. I can’t thank you enough for risking your life to help people and for spreading the message loudly that people need to hear about taking this seriously.”
“Also, I saw the photo of you from my show! Thank you for coming! I would love to give you a hug next time and thank you in person. With love and admiration, Taylor.”
Hilton wrote about her time in New York in a blog post for Intermountain Healthcare. “Another day in the ICU here in New York,” she started on a post documenting her fifth day there. “Today was considered a ‘slow’ day for these nurses & doctors, which honestly is almost comical at this point. But I guess anything less than an absolute crisis is a good day to them. I’m trying to give you all a real picture of what it’s like here because this isn’t about ME; this is to show you how REAL COVID-19 is & how SCARY it is. We are SO incredibly blessed in Utah and slow[ing] the spread is the only way to keep us safe. One thing I want to SCREAM from the rooftops is that if you could see what we see here, you’d do ANYTHING humanly possible to prevent it.”