AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– This month’s Giving Your Best winner is getting a lot of attention for a project he started during COVID. The problem is, he doesn’t want any recognition for his CAM patches.
So, we had to trick Jacob Neal into thinking he was a guest on the Jennie Show – and then present him with the volunteerism award!
“I don’t want the credit I want the project to have the credit. I want the nurses, the doctors, the people who clean up, the people who sanitize, the people who are fighting for their lives– I want them to have the credit because I didn’t do anything great. You know, I was once told that God doesn’t call on those who He qualifies, He qualifies those who He calls.”
Jacob is the founder of the COVID Angel of Mercy project and scholarship fund. He created this special patch, showing a masked angel with a stethoscope, for health care workers and support staff on the front lines of the pandemic. having been sent to combat four times, and understands the significance of a combat patch.
“And what makes them so special is they’re fighting an invisible war. We knew who the enemy was, and they’re fighting an invisible war. And just like the military, and just like our cyber techs here at the Cyber Center, they’re fighting an insider threat, which is us.”
Jacob packages and mails every COVID Angel of Mercy patch himself, and patches have been sent to all 50 states. They’re raising money for a purpose.
Jacob Neal/Award Winner: “Their children and their spouses are eligile for that scholarship. I wanted to do my part and take a little bit off of them so they can go on with the mourning process and hopefully we can create some more nurses- maybe they’ll be inspired and I just wanted to do my part.”
Giving Your Best committee member, Wendy Bradley, says Jacob was an obvious choice for the award because of his advocacy for health care workers.
“They had to go to the front line, they had to do it, they couldn’t call in sick- nobody could do it for them. They had to do it, there were no days off- you’re right. Some people still haven’t had days off in certain areas, depending on what they’re doing. But because of you, you gave them a little bit of extra… you made them feel special for what they had to do.”
The profits from the CAM patches go toward a scholarship fund that benefits the surviving spouses and children of health care heroes who contracted COVID and died in the line of duty.
JACOB will award the first scholarship in 2022.
“I’m excited. It will be a needs-based scholarship. I would like help from anybody, I’m just a normal average person, average people who want to give, I ask them to go to the website, buy the patches and give them to your favorite health care hero, or health care support hero, and that will help us build that scholarship. I want to make an impact.”