11/06/2024

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An accounting clerk created original art on billing statements to help a patient heal

An accounting clerk created original art on billing statements to help a patient heal

New York City — A few years ago, Melody Morrow of New York City hurt her foot and needed physical therapy. However, she said what really made her feel better was paying the bill.

“On the envelope, on the front of the envelope, it had these little music notes,” Morrow told CBS News of the billing statement she received in the mail, a play on her name, “Melody.”

MJHS Health System is a large health care provider, so personal touches on billing statements aren’t typically its thing.

“And then it began,” Morrow said. 

Every month thereafter, her billing statement from MJHS arrived in the mail with a new drawing. The drawings started out simple, like a treble clef. But as the months progressed, the envelopes got more and more elaborate. 

This was original art created anonymously just for her.

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

Finally, Morrow called MJHS, and asked if there was anyone in the billing department who happened to be artistic. She said the phone went quiet, and then she heard: “Hey Emily, it’s 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.

Morrow was so grateful, Margolis decided to ramp up her game even further. She began taking Margolis’ mailings home at night and spent hours turning those plain white business envelopes into masterpieces.

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

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

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