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Feeding Local Hospitals

05/22/2020 09:00:58 AM


This week we are proud to highlight the GoFundMe Campaign to Feed Local ER, ICU and COVID-19 Departments.

Back in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to the U.S., VBS Synagogue Board Member and Day School parent, Robin Permaul, was wondering what she could do to help. Seeing the many posts on Facebook of people wanting to send homemade food to the ER and the multitude of restaurant closures due to self isolation guidelines, she found an opportunity to support both simultaneously. At the outset, she consulted with her cousin and fellow VBS member and Day School parent, Dr. David Tashman, who is the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, about her idea to deliver meals to hospital staff. He loved the idea and told her how it would be greatly appreciated especially since many medical workers had a hard time getting food at night since the hospital cafeterias were closed down. 

On March 26, she launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase dinners from local, family-owned restaurants and deliver them to the ER, ICU and COVID department staff members. She coordinates daily deliveries with 12 different local hospitals on a rotational basis. Approximately 75-100 dinners are delivered every night from different mom and pop restaurants. As of today, the fundraiser has brought in over $34,000 and delivered over 4,000 hearty, quality meals to our devoted frontline healthcare workers and medical community.

Robin is a woman of action. She organized community rallies trying to keep the Encino Barnes and Noble Bookstore and led protests against the pharmacy/liquor store CVS replacement. Through her leadership, she negotiated with CVS resulting in a sizable community donation. She collaborated with the Department of Parks and Recreation and AYSO using the donation to jumpstart funds that led to the renovation of the Encino soccer fields on Balboa Boulevard. She serves as a board member of the synagogue and on the VBS Homelessness Task Force. She likes to say, “If you want something done...DO IT! People want to help and if you can give them the avenue to do so, we as a community can come together and unite to make a difference.” 

Both the hospitals and restaurants share their deep gratitude with Robin. The hospital staff tell her how thankful they are to the community for the care and support and that the meals really lifts their spirits and boosts team morale. Hospital nurses send her pictures, texts and videos of thanks from the various ER, ICU and COVID departments. Restaurant owners also have shared with Robin that because of these large orders, it has helped them to stay open, and even rehire employees that they had to lay off due to the pandemic. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

VBS has partnered with Robin to help spread the word about this important initiative affecting so many of our families. Robin shared with us some special moments such as when one VBS family donated their tzedakah money to the fundraiser and another when a group of seniors from an assisted living facility pooled their tzedakah to support the campaign. Anyone can help make a difference. Most contributions range from about $5- $180, but any amount helps. We are so proud to have Robin as part of the VBS Family. 

If you want to learn more and donate to Robin’s GoFundMe campaign, click here. Or follow along and donate on Facebook here.

Article written by Nitzan Barlev and Robin Permaul.

Sat, October 24 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781