SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A Scottsdale coffee shop is sending the love to COVID-19 patients in hospitals who can't have visitors.
Echo Coffee, at the corner of 68th Street and Thomas Road, has been collecting notes from customers for about six months.
Owner Rob Rigolfi said he wanted to help COVID patients who were alone.
"Where art, compassion, humanity meet to create a better world is where you find Echo Coffee," said Rigolfi. "I just wanted to somehow help those people. Imagine being sick in the hospital and you pass away by yourself...It's brutal."
Rigolfi decided to offer 10% off on orders as an incentive. He never imagined he'd get such a positive response.
"I mean we have people start crying in here, writing them. It's very real. It's healing for the writer as well as the reader."
Originally, they started delivering the notes to COVID patients at HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center. They sent out about 1,000 letters.
"You'd be amazed. Some people write a whole page, front and back. Leave their phone number, leave an email address and say, 'Reach out, say hi if you need to,'" said Rigolfi.
The hospital started handing them out to patients on other floors and recently told the coffee shop they didn't need any more notes.
"My hope is that since they can't use them, I want to get them to people, that's really all that matters."
Rigolfi still has about 300 notes and will continue to collect them in hopes of brightening someone else's day who may need it.
"This is about being human," he said. "We still need connection from one another, and we need compassion. And this is a pretty easy way and a wholesome way to do just that. So yeah, no end in sight."