COVIDKindness - (n.) - the act of sharing selfless support with our Firefighters on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and their families while they're keeping our communities safe;
1. Can be expressed through donations to build comfort bags with symptomatic relief to distribute across San Diego County or to provide meals for isolating Firefighter families from occupational exposure
2. Can be expressed as #COVIDKindness on social media to track progress, distributions, and how many departments have been supported through San Diego's generosity in a time of great need and uncertainty
OUR COVID-19 UPDATES:
In the worst of times, things can feel dark and lost but every cloud has a silver lining, and sometimes there's even a rainbow. The novel Coronavirus has taken a piece of all of us during this uncertain time. No matter how big or small the impact COVID-19 has made on you, one thing remains to be seen, firefighters and our fire family take care of each other like no one else can.
In these unpredictable times, food was donated and delivered to families and firefighters in isolation and families in quarantine. Over 140 care packages full of comfort items and love were deployed throughout the county in hopes of making those who received them feel like they were not alone. Masks were hand-stitched by Jolee Garcia, wife of a retiree, Arnell Garcia. The masks were made to ensure our immunocompromised and at risk population had protection. Our community partners and supporting organizations came together all to lend a helping hand. Restaurants and caterers remained open to support our firefighters who tested positive or were asymptomatic. It is the epitome of what it means to be in this together and here for each other no matter what.
If you were a part of the dedicated team that had a hand in all that was good during the beginning stages of the pandemic, you made a difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters in one of the most difficult times. We thank you for being one of the good ones.
We want to thank some incredible community partners who have been sharing #COVIDKindness with our Firefighters across San Diego County. Thank you to Stone Brewing and Bistro and Gardens in Liberty Station for donating over $20,000 worth of food to fire stations for their commitment to serving our community. Thank you to O'Sullivan's Irish Pub in Carlsbad and Escondido for donating enough corned beef and cabbage for 4 San Diego County Departments' dinners. That's 21 fire stations total: Escondido, Vista, San Marcos and Carlsbad! Our friends at Concierge Cleaning Company for providing additional cleaning and sanitary supplies for maintaining a safe and healthy office to better assist our fire families during COVID-19. Not to mention they kept the toilet paper supply endless for us to assist our members.
Seasons 52 UTC donated over 30 flatbreads to nearby SDFD stations. Dinners by David Catering delivered frozen meals and casseroles to multiple SDFD stations and families to have on hand for when they couldn't get to the grocery store or were sick and in isolation. Thank you to select Vons locations for ordering and setting water and goods aside to provide quarantined Firefighters in their comfort bags. The good guys at Classics Malt Shop in Point Loma fed Station 20 A, B, and C Divisions some classic diner foods as a thank you for their dedication to the community. The Gomez Trial Attorneys donated 200+ breakfast burritos to Firefighters as a thank you for keeping the community safe.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to the amazing community partners - Bomberos de San Diego, SDFD Sports Club, San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, GovX, and National First Responder Fund - for donating funds to help us provide Comfort Bags and food for stations and quarantined fire families across the County. Wow, that’s a lot of goodness!
For just over a year, we’ve been living in this new era of COVID-19 precautions. Through it all, our Firefighters have been on the front lines, continuing to keep our communities safe from fires, floods, injury, illness, and more. We’re so grateful for their selflessness and sacrifice, especially in a time like this.
Across the County, FirefighterAid has been making safe, socially distanced deliveries of comfort bags and meals to our Firefighters in an effort to take care of ill crew members. From Chula Vista to Rancho Santa Fe to Oceanside to San Diego City and everywhere in between, we’ve been making our rounds to get comfort bags into the hands of those who need it most. These bags contain COVID symptomatic relief as well as some activities to help keep the mind active and healthy while in isolation. We’ve also provided meals for some of those families who were isolated and unable to leave the home to go to the grocery store. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback to continue tailoring the bags to what is needed most and a number of kind words from our recipients who have gotten better and are back on the job.
To date, we’ve delivered over 300 comfort bags and over 400 meals to Firefighters and their families and departments who’ve been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to our community partners and donors. COVID is still out there, still affecting our Firefighters, so we continue fundraising to be a hero to a hero in their time of need.