As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc nationwide, day-to-day life as we once knew it has changed dramatically. From where, how, and even if, we work… to how we shop, socialize, and school our children, it’s a brave new world for most of us.

But not for all.

For a stalwart group of healthcare workers and first responders…retail and service providers…social justice advocates, volunteers, and others, life goes on pretty much as before, but with the added threat of coronavirus.

These essential workers care for the sick, stock warehouses and stores, pick up garbage, drive buses, prepare meals, deliver mail and needed supplies, provide for the homeless and more, every day. In the midst of a pandemic, they stay on the job – often behind the scenes – allowing the rest of us to retreat to the relative safety of home.

Others volunteer, helping short-staffed food banks distribute groceries to hundreds of waiting and hungry families. Some use their new-found “leisure” time to make and distribute face masks for free. Still others help isolated seniors by running errands or connecting through phone calls and virtual visits, cards and letters.

Such people are keeping our individual worlds—and entire communities—up and running. And in the process of helping us, they often put themselves and their own families at risk.

Capital Caring Health believes that each and every one of these community-minded individuals is a hero, worthy of our appreciation and recognition. And while it’s impossible to acknowledge them all—other than thanking them in person every time we come in contact—we can call attention to the good deeds of a select few through our 2020 Passion for Caring Gala set for Saturday, October 3.

In fact, the theme for this year’s annual fundraiser is “Honoring the Everyday Heroes Among Us.” And we’re counting on you for help.

If you know of someone you think deserves recognition for their contributions during COVID-19, we’d love to hear from you! Visit capitalcaring.org/gala to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in one of three categories:

  • Healthcare;
  • Community (grocery, delivery, and other frontline workers);
  • Social justice (advocate, community leader, etc.).

Each week, we’ll select one nominee from each group whose words and actions best exemplify dedication, commitment, and caring during the current crisis. Winners will be announced on our website and receive $500 as an extra thanks for their efforts.

During the Oct. 3 online Gala, three top nominations will be presented with the 2020 Passion for Caring Award.

In addition to honoring these unsung heroes, the Gala also will raise funds to help CCH patients who have been affected by coronavirus and its impact.

Throughout the Gala weekend, community members will be able to support Capital Caring Health’s COVID-19 recovery efforts by participating in an online auction and pledge drive which will help CCH cover unexpected, virus-related expenses, such as PPE for frontline staff, expanded grief support and mental health services, emergency children’s hospice and pediatric program needs, technology to enable telehealth visits, and more.

Topping the list is replenishing the Patient Support Fund, which assures that no patient is ever turned away due to the lack of ability to pay. And with coronavirus-related loss of jobs and insurance coverage reaching record levels, such support is needed now more than ever.

Here’s just a sampling of what your gift can do:

  • $25 – Feed a hospice patient at risk for food insecurity with a day’s worth of nutritious meals delivered to the home.
  • $50 – Help a child play and forget about being sick, through an age-appropriate “toy box” filled with books, games, stuffed animals, and other diversions for our youngest patients.
  • $100 – Purchase a tablet to connect a patient to expert medical care, family and friends, and music and other forms of therapies, from the safety of home and without needing a computer.
  • $150 – Provide a patient with a simple kit that, in real time, monitors blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood sugar, and other key indicators of health and helps keep them at home and out of the hospital.
  • $500 – Fund three days of care for an uninsured or underinsured patient.

This year’s Gala is free, virtual, and open to the public. In addition to announcing the hero awardees, the program will include messages from CCH’s President and CEO Tom Koutsoumpas, as well as Gala Chairs, WebMD’s Chief Medical Officer, John H. Whyte, MD, MPH; and Alisa Valudes Whyte, Senior Partner and CEO of the Merritt Group.

We hope you’ll join us in turning the spotlight on some of our everyday heroes, even as we raise funds to help those in our care. In our book, you’ll be a hero, too!

To nominate your hero and to sign up to virtually attend the free gala, click here.