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Celebrating the LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes

Posted March 30, 2021 by Team LA2050

It has been just over one year since the City of Los Angeles put Safer at Home orders in place as the devastation of COVID-19 began to spread.

To commemorate this somber anniversary, we wanted to honor the Angelenos who have stepped up to care for each other and serve our region over the past year. We designated these selfless, inspiring individuals our LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes and asked the LA2050 community to provide nominations on our Instagram.

The nominees represent the best of all of us — from brave frontline medical staff to essential workers in all sectors, educators creating the best virtual classrooms possible, chefs providing meals to those in need, and families caring for at-risk loved ones. Through random selection, we awarded 10 nominees with $50 gift cards to Gifts for Good as a small token of our appreciation. Now, we're grateful to share the inspiring and moving submissions we received.

A huge thank you to all of the nominators and nominees!

Meet the LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes:

@ccolmery: I nominate @alinasato for her good and hard work at CHLA as an RN. Through every COVID spike and threat of illness she showed up and serves her patients with heart.

@alecia076: I nominate Patricia Dixon from @caaquatictherapy She has worked tirelessly to ensure residents with special health needs are able to access wellness services, food and care. Pat is an #la2050saferathomehero 😍

@nelson_pulga: @champagneebri proud of my niece for helping the homeless youth throughout this whole pandemic & helping them get resources they need.

@tafaraibayne: @czarjonesiii for providing thousands and thousands of meals to residents of Watts over the last 12 Months (with his team at @eastsideriders) and still finding time to host youth-focused community bike rides. Dude is my hero for reals.

@luvabull_23: I would like to nominate my Husband @damn_its_rod as he is an essential worker. He is a mechanic at the airport so he always had to report to work last year and currently. He works very hard even at home as he helps people with their cars, sometimes not even charging for his labor. He is truly a selfless person and I would love this for him as I'm a stay-at-home Mom so I can't always provide #LA2050SaferAtHomeHero.

@farrahwayy: I nominate @heleoleyva for hosting community cookouts throughout the pandemic to feed those in need.

@lvasquez90032: I would like to nominate @jacobtoups as a #la2050saferathomehero he took the last year to bring LGBTQ youth together and create a BRAVE space for them. He has built an organization @rainbow_labs that brings those youth voices to a larger platform. Across the nation there are only 5 LGBTQ mentoring programs for every 5000 programs. There's a need and it's been incredible to witness Jacob's commitment to support and elevate all of their voices!

@jumamock5: I nominate @jerimtz who was part of the 1st team in our department to work with people who were recovering from severe covid. He has dedicated all of his time over the past year to provide physical therapy services to almost 150 people from the LA area. He is my hero and it is an honor to work with him.

@emwildflower: I nominate @punsandproses for working tirelessly to bring arts education virtually to youth in the South Bay.

@emwidlflower: I nominate @sarah.tapiapruett for fighting for her students while safely loving her community and friends.

And, meet the rest of the inspiring nominations:

@arianadelawari: @wyllalourdes I nominate Wylla my late mom's nurse at Kaiser. She was so attentive and helpful throughout the time of losing our mom. It was so confusing being isolated away from her while she was in the hospital and it means so much to have a great nurse who was helping us navigate communication while being on the frontlines herself and caring for her own family ❤️

@lorenzo_e_hernandez has been leading his team to distribute support the families affected by COVID. Meeting with families in-person to distribute more than $2.2 million in grocery cards, rental relief and utilities relief Lorenzo and his team have eased the suffering of the pandemic.

@swellmel2014: I nominate @NVCSinc - On March 19, 2020 they set up a drive-thru food pantry which has served over 33,000 families from 118 zip codes throughout Los Angeles. Tomorrow marks the 100th drive-thru pantry. Sad that we have food insecure families but grateful for outreach by this remarkable non-profit!

@raquelitab1: @atziricamarema has been on disaster worker assignment from @empowerla for over 10 months serving our unhoused neighbors of LA. She has ascended into a supervisor role leading several project roomkey locations which was only possible because of her compassion, discipline, and strong work ethic. Thank you for the opportunity to recognize Atziri for her service.

@simon2587 Last year, Simon decided to continue his passion for nursing and caretaking. I nominate Simon because he's a caregiver to his grandparents, a student, a murse, and event planner. From getting groceries and translating mail/tv for his grandparents to bring a full-time nurse at a hospital and a student on top of it he's helped make pandemic drive-thru birthdays for people of all ages. Not only is Simon a front-line worker, he's an extraordinary friend and grandson, and though there were moments where he struggled, he was able to triumph because he knew what it meant for his loved ones. I'm so proud of you Simon! ❤️

@chancekawar: I nominate Marilú Guevara, executive director of @LWVlosangeles. I'm proud to have witnessed her leadership engaging & educating local voters during an election season like no other we've seen before. With limited resources during the ongoing pandemic, she has continued to be a powerful voice defending our democracy and an informed political discourse.

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @allenlnarcisse and Casey Williams @lyft for their great work supporting voting and vaccine access.

@shaunanep: I nominate @annasilverman for implementing such smart Covid safe strategies for her family during such a difficult year ❤️

@tobermancenter: @big_c2c has been a guiding light this year. He has created processes so people will receive direct financial aid quickly and with minimal contact. He ensures that anyone going hungry receives home-delivered food from the food pantry. Carlos gives hope and leadership to all he meets.

@katt.montoya: I nominate @carmene.montoya for working two jobs and one of them being an essential grocery store worker! Thank you for working and helping us get the essentials we needed during a pandemic.

@ericjsal: I nominate @champagneebri for not taking a day off AND working so hard through this pandemic.

@fileleyva4030: I nominate @communitycookouts The Leyva brothers have distributed over 5,000 meals to people in need in the East Hollywood area.

@danigonzalezg: I also nominate @communitycookouts !! They have been sharing incredible street food meals to neighbors in need in EaHo every Tuesday! 5000+ meals so far.

@emwidlflower: I nominate @den__nice for graduating in a pandemic and still being the best 6th-grade teacher ever.

@zerowastemicaela: @ecourbangardens I nominate Liz Christy, program manager at Eco Urban Gardens, a school garden nonprofit that serves the El Monte community! EUG cultivates green spaces and grows healthy organic food. Liz has been working really hard to keep the gardens and virtual education programs running during the pandemic!

@punsandproses: I nominate @emwildflower for her constant commitment to bettering the lives of the children she serves as an Urban Theatre Program director. She works ceaselessly to enrich and provide for the “neighborhood kids" that fill every centimeter of her gigantic heart. She's an inspiration ♥️

@phillycheesecake: I nominate @heleoleyva of @quesadillastepexco and @communitycookouts for bringing the community of East Hollywood free hot meals EVERY WEEK despite a pandemic that put him and his crew out of work.

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @ilovemikeandlily for delivering meals with @projectangelfood and volunteering with @makegoodinc.

@niduh: I nominate @irfan_ahmed for being a doctor on the frontline during this pandemic!

@emwildflower: I nominate @isaiah.murtaugh for fighting to cover voting rights and the 2020 election in the middle of a pandemic.

@lalaleann: I nominate @sarah.tapiapruett for being an incredible educator and mama to baby Noemí! All at the same time 🥰

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @jenniferbblackburn and the team @larchmontschool for raising grocery money for our school's families.

@tobermancenter: @leslieeeanaya has brought a smile to many people's faces this year with her caring and support. She has helped seniors sign up for COVID vaccinations, helped people get free tax preparation, grocery cards and rent. Leslie brightens up the day as she supports the distribution of over 200 meals daily!

@smgrams: I nominate @lizschwandt for going above and beyond providing safe and nurturing childcare at @sijccece AND in her free time creating a volunteer organization (Get Out The Shot LA) to help folks with finding vaccine appointments. Truly making our city safer and more equitable during this crisis! 🙌 Thank you, Liz!

I nominate Aaron Valencia of @lost_angels_childrens_project ...when the pandemic hit and families had to stay at home, Aaron immediately put resources together to support food-insecure families. He set up a meal delivery service in the City of Lancaster that kept many people from going hungry. He is an #la2050saferathomehero 😎

@alturiconsulting: Nominating @mellemusic for doing all she possibly can since the very start to ensure as many Angelenos in need as possible have food. She has been an inspiration in her nonstop efforts to feed those in need and by collaborating with others to ensure that those in need have access to food. ❤️

@katt.montoya: I nominate @ms._bee_ for never once stopping to work as a medical assistant and helping patients get the care they need. Thank you for caring for the whole family as well!

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: for sharing her food when we couldn't get the groceries we needed.

@geemd: @quesadillastepexco are street vendors turned community chefs. They've served hot, delicious and nutritious FREE meals to thousands of community members in East Hollywood at their weekly cookouts 🧡

@goretti.25: I nominate @quesadillastepexco @communitycookouts for feeding those in need even as the Leyva brothers were struggling themselves during the pandemic. They hosted community cookouts where free food was given no questions asked. 👏👏

@rcheratyou: I also nominate @quesadillastepexco @communitycookouts for supplying meals for those in need in East Hollywood. The kindness and compassion they have for our community is such an inspiration. We need more people like the Leyva brothers! 🔥🙌❤️

@emwildflower: I nominate @sayyescenter.picounion for caring for the kids in our city who are most vulnerable.

@_thehyepriestess_: I nominate the team at @smileandwonder for creating a safe space for kids to learn and play. Eternally grateful to Nicole and Ana! 👏❤️

@stellamarine: I nominate @stoicspam who has been advocating for and supporting tenants in crisis during this whole pandemic both in her own community and across LA!

@emwildflower: I nominate @tapiapruett for graduating during a pandemic and jumping right into teaching.

@d1.zayzay: I nominate my Public health professor and mentor @thatprettytr3. She has been volunteering at various Covid-19 testing sites while creating content videos for her community about Covid-19. She is also continuing to provide STEM classes to underserved youth in Los Angeles county. She has been on the front lines since the pandemic began and has been servicing the people of Los Angeles. She has not missed one step in any role assigned to her. She is more than deserving.

@_marilynthompson_: I nominate @twinspire_ a non-profit organization serving marginalized and foster youth virtually by equipping them with financial literacy and life skills to pursue educational and career opportunities in the midst of the pandemic. They are committed to equipping the next generation of youth with the tools required to be mindful leaders and phenomenal students. ✊🏽💕

@stephgwieland: I nominate @twinspire_. Founded by twin brothers Demontae and Demontray, Twinspire is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to serving foster youth and marginalized youth throughout the city to provide them with educational support, financial literacy, and life skills. Demontae and Demontray have been working tirelessly through this pandemic to ensure their participants have the tools they need to not only survive, but to thrive.