More than 40 cars drove to ChristianaCare Middletown Emergency Department to celebrate and thank their healthcare workers.

Glittered posters, tambourines, jingle bells and dogs were just a few items these Middletown residents used to show their appreciation for doctors and nurses.

More than 40 cars from Spring Arbor, a 55 and older community, caravanned to ChristianaCare Middletown Emergency Department to celebrate and thank their healthcare workers April 16.

The residents showed up with noisemakers and posters with words of gratitude and encouragement for the staff.

Kara Streets, nurse manager, said it means a lot to her and the other employees to see the outpouring of community support for their role in the pandemic. She said it feels like they are going through this crisis together.

“It’s calming to know your community is supporting you and understanding we are under a lot of pressure and that we are dealing with scary stuff out there,” Streets said. “It’s heartwarming seeing our neighbors do this for us, especially on the seventh anniversary of the opening.” They have seen more than 185,000 patients since, she said.

Spring Arbor resident Wayne Shutfelt who organized the caravan chose to have it coincide with the emergency department’s seventh anniversary.

This is not the first celebration visit. On April 10, Streets said, area fire companies and EMS personnel drove by with flashing lights.

Wilmington and Christiana hospitals also had caravans and first responders visit this month.

The nurse manager said the department has a special connection with Spring Arbor because several of the community members are volunteers.

Maryann Reinhardt said she volunteered there every Tuesday prior to the outbreak and she wanted to show the staffers that she appreciates the risk they put themselves at every day.

“I feel bad for all of them doing it. I feel bad that I can’t be in there to help,” she said.

Spring Arbor’s Sandra Rechisky said many of the people who live there are at high risk for coronavirus complications and was happy to come out to express gratitude.

Spring Arbor donated more than 50 masks to the emergency department.

“We are hoping they have enough [personal protective equipment] here so they don’t catch [the coronavirus]. There are too many places that don’t have enough PPE,” she said. “Nurses and doctors are dying and I just hope that it doesn’t happen here.”