We had more than 14 000 people submit their nominations for our Klipsch Hero Sweepstakes. All of them were wonderful entries, showing love for those who have been working on the front lines and stepping up during these difficult times.
1. Pastor Jackie, Porter, TX
Who nominated her? Her husband Jim.
"Since the onset of this medical disaster, we moved her office to the house and she has been having daily contact with individuals of the Church, setup and started live-streaming Sunday services, which have increased every week. We even had a Family from France join us."
In her own words:
"As a pastor, one aspect of my ministry is preaching and teaching. Zoom has become my new best friend. We are live streaming MidWeek devotionals from my home as well as Sunday morning worship, which is done from the sanctuary, but no members present other than music and audiovisual team members. We have had consistent attendance with people logging in from many different states and even from France. These are the easy parts of the Pastor's responsibilities in that they haven't changed as much as the second part of my ministry.
"Pastoral Care is more important than ever. Just as I am stressed and anxious the members and friends of Atascocita Presbyterian Church are worried and anxious and maybe more important lonely. They are missing loved ones and since they are homebound and many living alone, they are consumed by the situation. I have taken to calling people on a regular basis, as many as 40 or so a week. Just checking in and saying, 'Hi, what do you need?'"
2. Dr. Amanda, San Diego, CA
Who nominated her? Her Mom Barbara.
"She is an Emergency Room physician in San Diego County - enough said right there. She is also a wife, mother, and business owner of a medical aesthetics center. She has managed to balance all of the demands in her life and continue to grow. She is my daughter and I am very fortunate to have her living very close to me."
In her own words:
"Life changed drastically for me this March in San Diego as it did for the rest of the world. As an emergency provider, my job transitioned from that of one that diagnoses a myriad of medical conditions within the safe walls of the hospital to one that now requires a high level of precaution with every patient, as a new, unseen enemy emerged. Never did I think I would be fighting a war against a virus that could easily infect us, our families, our friends, and our community. Covered in PPE as we now enter each patient’s room, we have had to learn how to communicate with our eyes instead of our smiles. COVID-19 has changed every part of the way we interact. Still, we fight on, rapidly adapt, and know that we have to rise up and help in any way that we can. I am looking forward to the time when life returns back to what it was in 2019 in the hospital as this 'new normal' has been rough on all of us."
3. Katie, Oakland, MI
Who nominated her: Her friend Mike
"Katie has spent the last months shopping and bringing food to her parents, her inlaws, her grandparents, her neighbors, and her kid's friends. She does pop-in porch visits for birthdays and random mental wellness checks too. She has planted a vegetable garden, feeds the birds, runs a home school for he kid, and still works a 9-to-5 from home! She bakes sweets almost every day, cooks dinner almost every night, and reads out loud to anyone willing to listen. It's amazing how much she can do in a day, how happy she is to do it, and maybe most amazing is how selfless she is."
In her own words:
"It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things out of our control. So, I work hard to focus on the things that I can control. Saturday morning is now for baking new dessert bread from the Betty Crocker cookbook my mom handed down to me. My son and I deliver those to his grandparents, both so they can see him, but also so he can see they're doing okay. We make a trip to check in on my grandma on Sunday mornings and take her a couple of meals for the week. I'm setting an example for my son that we're not living in fear. We're being aware of how our interactions can affect other people. We're becoming closer to our community of family and friends."
4. Dr. Eric, Madison, WI
Who nominated him? His wife Fikriye
"He works on the frontlines of the ICU working to solve the COVID crisis and prevent human suffering. All this while showing up at home as a husband and a father."
In his own words:
"It has been stressful and full of uncertainty but with some optimism regarding my community’s dedication to flattening the curve."
5. Gwen, Des Moines, IA
Who nominated her? Her friend Adam
"This hero has been sending a team of people around in Des Moines to deliver pizzas to hospitals and other essential businesses. They call themselves team ninja and Gwen's two young sons help deliver the pizza. Gwen is part owner of Fong's Pizza, which has several Des Moines locations. Gwen posts these deliveries daily on her Facebook page. She has inspired me to put front line workers first and I pray for them daily."
In her own words:
"I’m a single mother of two young boys, 5 and 7; and the president and co-founder of Fong’s Pizza. When COVID-19 struck, my immediate thought was, 'how can I help the helpers?' I wanted to teach my boys to remain calm during crises and find ways to help people who are focused on helping others. A marketing initiative I created, the Pizza Ninja, flipped into overdrive looking for ways to share kindness. I started contacting various hospitals around town to feed our healthcare heroes, essential retail and grocery team members, police, EMS, community heroes at the Food Bank of Iowa, food pantries, childcare providers, retirement homes, distilleries providing free sanitizer and many others. One of our favorite moments was when the Des Moines Fire department picked us up in their fire truck to feed nearly 400 healthcare heroes at Mercy and UnityPoint Methodist hospitals."
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