For the media

Temecula family supports Chula Vista caregivers

By The Health News Team | June 4, 2020
Temecula family supports Chula Vista caregivers

The Kelepouris family made the drive from Temecula to Chula Vista to personally deliver meals and handmade cards to the front-line staff at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

Giving to others is a value that runs deeply through the Kelepouris family. Nicole Kelepouris and her husband, Daniel, have raised their two young children, Landon (age 7) and Brooklyn (age 5), to think of others as often as possible.

“Every time they receive an allowance, they put some into savings, keep some to spend and share the rest with someone else. That’s our family philosophy,” says Nicole. “We talk about different causes they could support and the kids get to choose where to donate their money.”

Their recent donation to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, however, was a family decision. The family received their stimulus check in April and knew they wanted it to benefit those serving on the front line.

“We know how lucky we are that we’re healthy and safe at home, so we wanted the money to help someone or something impacted by COVID-19,” Nicole says. “A friend who is a nurse suggested supporting the staff at Sharp Chula Vista.”

Nicole contacted Sharp Chula Vista and was put in touch with Christy Rheam, development associate at the Sharp HealthCare Foundation. Nicole learned about staff who are taking steps to protect their families, which sometimes means not being able to be close to them when they get home.

“As a mom, the thought of having to stay at a hotel for weeks or months away from my family, only communicating through video messaging and not being able to hug my babies is gut-wrenching," Nicole says.

She and her family were able to buy 175 meals for the doctors, nurses and other front-line staff in Sharp Chula Vista’s intensive care and emergency departments, as well as the hospital’s two nursing units, caring for patients with COVID-19. Landon and Brooklyn made a special donation all on their own: handmade cards featuring words of encouragement and support.

“It was Landon’s idea to make cards for the staff,” Nicole says. “He and Brooklyn love watching Art for Kids Hub, a family YouTube channel that offers art lessons. It was a great way for the kids to really understand the reward of doing something for someone else in need.”

The Kelepouris family decided to drive from Temecula to Chula Vista to hand-deliver the meals and cards. They were greeted by several staff members who expressed their gratitude for the gifts.

“We chatted a bit when they came outside to pick up the food,” Nicole says. “We asked what a normal day is like for them these days; they shared a little about what it’s like to take care of patients with COVID-19 and said it’s a different life inside the hospital.”

“The staff at Sharp Chula Vista were so appreciative and they’re going through so much more than those of us outside the hospital walls,” Nicole added. “We did what we could do and I would encourage others to do the same if they have a desire to help those on the front line.”

Looking for ways to support our caregivers? Donate to the Sharp COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Your contribution will help supply medical teams with much-needed resources as they respond to this crisis in our community.

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