Last Updated Mar 8, 2021 7:12 PM EST
Mark Fugel was alone for five days recovering from a recent surgery when he received a handmade card from a neighbor he doesn't even know.
"I'm going to get emotional," Fugel said. "It's very sweet, people thinking of us in the hospital these days. There are a lot of elderly and isolated people who feel lost. Just little things like this are beautiful."
Eileen Michaels, 74, is the mastermind behind a movement to make sure everyone feels loved. It all started at the height of the pandemic.
"Not only were people suffering, but they were suffering a lot," she said.
The former Wall Street executive and nurse put out a call on social media asking her community in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, to start writing cards for patients. Within hours, hundreds arrived on her doorstep. Most of the writers are unknown, but Michaels said they come from all backgrounds and ages.
"Pretty soon we had cards coming out of our ears," said Carol Rizzo, who helped distribute the cards at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Rizzo said patients were tearful and "really appreciative of the fact that somebody had gone out of their way" to wish them well.
Michaels has helped create a community of givers one small gesture at a time.
"We made a community," Michaels said. "Our community goes down as far as New Jersey and as far as Asbury Park and as a result of my work and then other people joining and it just goes."