When a coworker caught a fellow nurse rummaging through and taking supplies from the donation bin at work, she was stunned. Days later, she called the coworker out to the parking lot, demanding the nurse “pop the trunk” as she stood there sobbing.
Pam Medina, a 48-year-old Virginia nurse, was just finishing up her night shift at 7:15 a.m. when she spotted a colleague rummaging through a donation bin in the break room. The woman, later identified as 47-year-old Sara Putman, was seemingly scavenging for baby items, which only further perplexed Pam, who didn’t even think this co-worker had a baby.
The incident weighed heavy on Pam’s mind, and she was determined to get to the bottom of things. After some digging, Pam learned a little more about Sara’s story, and that’s when she realized something must be done. So, days later, Pam called Sara out to the parking lot. As the two stood outside, Sara was unsure what was going on. Then, Sara told her to pop the trunk, and the woman almost immediately began sobbing.
Pam had learned that Sara had recently been granted custody of her 7-month-old granddaughter, Isabella. The court-ordered decision came as a surprise, and although this was happy news, the grandmother was left scrambling for much-needed supplies to care for the infant. Sara hadn’t had the time or resources to get everything she needed for Isabella.
With little choice and not knowing what else to do, Sara resorted to scouring the donation bin for anything she could use for her granddaughter. It was a tough time, indeed, but the grandmother was about to learn she had a community of support at her disposal. After Pam overheard the news and understood why Sara had been taking baby supplies from the donation bin, she knew she needed to step up and help her fellow nurse, even though she didn’t even know her last name.
“What do you need? I can find you everything you need,” Pam told Sara, and the nurse didn’t disappoint. After working a 12-hour night shift, Pam took to Facebook, posting on local trading and yardsale groups, looking for gently used baby items and hoping others would help lend a hand. “Folks, just send me what you have. I’ll be more than happy to pay for it. Tell me where to meet you, and I’ll pick it up,” Pam eagerly posted.
She was pleasantly surprised by the response she received as donations came pouring in. “Hundreds of moms responded,” recalled Pam, a mom of 5 children herself, according to Inside Edition. “Either it was very low cost, or [they said], ‘Pick this up, you can have it.'” So, being true to her word, Pam Medina drove all over doing just that.
By 5:30 pm that day, Pam had collected hundreds of items from generous moms all over the area. Then, with her husband’s help, she headed back to the hospital to surprise Sara as the grandmother finished her shift. Pam told Sara she had gotten her a stroller and took her to her car. Then, she told her to open the trunk. When she did, Sara Putman’s jaw dropped. “Oh my god! What have you done?” she exclaimed as she began to tear up, staring at the full trunk in shock.
The massive pile included not only a stroller but a bouncy seat, a tub, and baby clothes too. “I haven’t had any sleep!” Pam can be heard telling Sara in a video captured of the ordeal, which she posted to Facebook. “I’ve been running around picking stuff up all day long. And, I’ve got more to pick up, I just ran out of time!”
Although Pam Medina didn’t even know Sara Putman’s last name until that day, she was inspired to help her coworker because she was touched by Sara’s story and her decision to take custody of her 20-year-old son’s daughter, Isabella. “[The] baby would have ended up in foster care for sure,” Pam said.
Thanks to Sara, that wasn’t going to happen. And, thanks to Pam and the community who rallied around her, Sara and Isabella would have what they needed to make the transition a little easier. Pam Medina didn’t have to do a thing for the coworker she barely knew, but she saw a need and stepped up anyway. Just imagine if we all responded so kindly to seeing someone else’s struggle.