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A clerk creates art on a billing statement to help a patient recover

NEW YORK CITY — A few years ago, Melody Morrow of New York City hurt her leg and needed physical therapy. However, he said paying the bills actually made him feel better.

“On the envelope, on the front of the envelope, it had these little music notes,” Morrow told CBS News in the mail about the billing statement he received for his play, “Melody.”

MJHS Health System is a large health care provider, so a personal touch on billing statements isn’t usually its thing.

“And then it started,” Morrow said.

Each month thereafter, his billing statement from MJHS arrives in the mail with a new drawing. The drawings started simply, like a treble clef. But as the months progressed, the envelopes got wider.

This was original art created anonymously for him.

“It’s hard to even describe,” Morrow said. “It was incredible.”

Finally, Morrow called MJHS and asked if there was someone in the billing department who was artistic. He said the phone went silent, and then he heard: “Hey Emily, this is for you.”

Accounting clerk Emily Margolis is hardly a frontline caregiver, but she told CBS News she can use her drawings to help people heal.

“I like to make people happy,” Margolis said.

Moreau was so grateful, Margolis decided to step up his game. He began taking Margolis’ mailing home at night and spent hours turning those white business envelopes into masterpieces.

“Then I started adding rhinestones,” Margolis said. “And I got involved with the gold leaf. It was fun.”

Finally the last mailing came, but the story is not over. Morrow and Margolis became friends and are now co-curators of an exhibit at a Manhattan coffee shop that showcases Margolis’ envelope-making. However, Morrow says that what is really on display here is the healing power of kindness.

“It was a stranger,” Morrow said. “And he was doing it just for me. And that’s the beauty of it.”

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Steve Hartman

Steve Hartman

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