Trini Perez has inspired her coworkers to follow in her footsteps by raising funds for Feed Our Cubs and volunteering at non-Sharp community service events.
"Thank you for letting us eat, work and have fun … I appreciate everything you guys do for us," is just one of the many sentiments shared by the Health Sciences High students who intern in the Engineering Department at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. The students are grateful for the department’s Feed Our Cubs program, which provides healthy lunches and snacks to students who can’t afford lunch or didn’t bring a meal for the day.
Trini Perez, who works in Sharp Grossmont Hospital's Engineering Department, started the program after she noticed the teenagers were not eating during their lunch break. She decided to start collecting donations of food and money from her coworkers to help the students.
Before she knew it, she had to purchase a fridge, which is continuously stocked with healthy snacks and drinks for students to grab and go.
"I couldn’t have my lunch while our student interns didn’t have anything to eat; I had to help them," Perez said. "The kids are very appreciative for the help. They remind me every day of the importance of giving back."
When summer came around and the students were on vacation, Perez still had the itch to help the community. She then started Backpacks 4 Kids in conjunction with the San Diego Food Bank.
The program provides food to elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend. Thanks to Perez and donations from hospital staff, they were able to fill more than 200 backpacks during the course of one summer. Perez’s efforts earned her a Community Pillar Award for her passion for helping the children in the community.
"I grew up being one of those kids," Perez said. "That’s why my goal in life is to help those in need and pay it forward."
For More Information
To learn more Sharp Grossmont's programs and services, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or send us an email.