Skyla Marroquin was so grateful for the healthcare workers who cared for her great grandmother while she fought COVID-19, that she had to do something about it.

Earlier this month, Skyla coordinated Project Nurse Care Kit with her fellow Girl Scouts in the McAllen service unit, a project that produced hundreds of gifts for local nurses

In total, they made and distributed 413 care kits, filled snacks and small items to local hospitals. The kits were given to nurses at Mcallen Medical Center, the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, and Edinburg Regional Hospital, where her great grandmother spent three weeks fighting the virus.

Skyla’s great grandmother, Bertha Balatzar, who she endearingly calls “Gi-gi” contracted the virus in June, and was hospitalized July 1. Skyla was worried about Gi-gi, but found comfort knowing she was in good hands.

“I knew that the nurses would help her, not only God but also the nurses,” the 12-year-old said.

A couple weeks into Gi-gi’s time in the hospital, Skyla and her mother, April Guajardo, decorated posters and signs to show her from the parking lot. Gi-gi’s nurses helped get her close to the window, and from the fourth floor, she was able to see her beloved granddaughter and great granddaughter.

Skyla was inspired by how the nurses took the time to help Gi-gi and wanted to give them something in return, though she knows she could never truly repay the care they gave her great grandmother.

Skyla hand wrote 200 notes of gratitude for the care kits.

Skyla Marroquin is pictured with 200 Project Nurse Care Kits.

“If people stopped caring for nurses and stopped believing in them, they might get hopeless and lose interest in their job,” she said. “So it is important for them to know that they have other people that are thanking them for their service and how they are doing goodness in the community.”

Skyla has been a Juliette Girl Scout for seven years, and will be starting seventh grade at Morris Middle School in McAllen this month. She loves to stargaze, and hopes to be an astronomer someday.

“I want the community to know that during this difficult and hard time, that no matter how small or big or tall or short someone is, that they can still make an impact,” Skyla said.

Other local girl scouts of the McAllen Girl Scouts Service Unit also made care kits for the project, and Skyla’s mother hopes the initiative will spread positivity across the community.

“I am very proud of Skyla, I know that she is making a big difference by helping our medical staff feel appreciative,” she said. “… I know that everyone is going through difficult times right now, and that there is a lot of negativity going around, but if you can put your mind toward something else, something else more positive, then it is better for everyone.”