COVID-19 is contagious, but so is kindness and generosity.
Adversity stretches us, but sometimes there are hidden opportunities we just need to find.
Two Orange County women connected through business found an opportunity to serve two groups affected by this crisis at the same time through their mission, Plates of Love.
Marie Walti has two sisters impacted by this virus. Her sister Ann is a nurse assigned to the dedicated COVID-19 floor at Saddleback Hospital. She is the front line. Her sister Judy fights a different battle. She owns a local Santa Ana restaurant, Crave, and with all the shutdowns fights to keep her restaurant financially viable with takeout and delivery to keep her employees in jobs.
Amy Gingrich works with college students in disability services and has talked to many students battling the virus. It got her to think about many that she knows that serve the sick in the front lines and the layers of overwhelming impact as a result of the pandemic. She, too, has family members in the restaurant industry who have been directly impacted by all the shutdowns.
Separately, both women wondered how they could be helpers in a climate that has so many layers that need attention.
The lightbulb moment came when Marie’s sister Ann shared how her hospital floor received lunch one day and how that was such a bright spot in such a dark time. That story birthed an idea that would become Marie and Amy’s mission, Plates of Love.
Over the last week, the two women have shared the idea with friends, family and community. The mission is to support local restaurants with large orders to supply lunches as a thank you to send to front line medical workers at local hospitals. They believe the community can give business to restaurants and send a tangible message of support to those who are making huge sacrifices for the community to tend to the sick.
We are currently using the funds to order from Crave Restaurant in Santa Ana and Mamas on 39 in Huntington Beach to supply lunches to local Orange County hospitals, specifically COVID floors and Emergency Rooms. We will expand the restaurants we support if the campaign grows.
While any gift big or small will make a difference, these women know so many are pinched right now – but they still believe everyone can play a part by giving, sharing or encouraging. If someone cannot give, they can share the mission and Go Fund Me or draw cards to go with the meals. They have created a FB group where you can get the card stationary and make arrangements to send it to be included with deliveries. These cards add another layer of support and encouragement to our front line medical workers. We know they will need all the words of support and encouragement for the challenges they face.
Together we believe many hands doing a little bit WILL create a massive impact to show love and care for two sides that need support at this time and help us to be the best that comes out of this challenging season.