Nominate an Essential Employee
COVID-19 has presented challenges to all of us, but none more so than our essential workers. We are continually inspired by the hard work, dedication, and bravery of these individuals, and we want to give back. To recognize those who have risked their lives on the front lines, we will be hosting a contest for Essential Service Providers.
The winning essential worker will be rewarded with an all-inclusive trip for a family of four on a six-day, five-night Yellowstone National Park adventure vacation for 2021. Thanks to our good friends and partners at Life is Good the winning family will also be outfitted with a Life Is Good/American Tourister luggage set. This is our way of saying thank you.
To be considered for the contest, please provide the nominee’s email so they may be informed of their nomination and the drawing details. Nominees will be entered into the drawing upon their acceptance. Nominations will close October 1, 2020. See full contest rules here.
** Nominate as many ESP’s as you like, we all know and respect too many ESP’s to count!
Nominations are now closed. We will be selecting our top 25 and a winner by the second week of October! Don’t forget to check out all the great nominees below!
List of Nominees
|Name||Profession||City & State||Nomination||Photo|
|Debora||ER Nurse||Houston, TX||Debora was assigned to the Covid ICU at Texas Children’s Hospital and a bedside nurse to Covid patients as well as working the Covid tent. Since 1996, she has volunteered in Mexico, South America, post earthquake-Haiti and assisted with Hurricane Katrina and Harvey victims. She has used her vacation time to volunteer and to help in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and was an integral part in the medical evacuation of disabled and fragile patients.to the mainland-most notable was the transport of a 103 year old woman from Vieques. She has just finished her PNP and is completing her Phd. Debora’s idea of “retirement” involves the altruistic act of building a free pediatric urgent care in Vieques and providing free education to nurses in underserved areas.|
|Katie||Nurse Practitioner||Billings, MT||Katie is nurse practitioner at the BIllings Clinic Family Birth Center. She has worked hard during this uncertain time to keep the babies and new families safe both in and out of the hospital. She has assisted with planning and executing new protocols as well as assisting in the direct care of patients on a daily basis. She spends time at home reading and staying up to date on the newest recommendations and addition to her responsibilities as a wife and mom of two small children.
Katie happily tends to newborns and their mommas regardless of their COVID status. After a full day of caring for other families, she goes home and gives her all to her own family. Bravo Katie!
|Corby||Heating and Air Conditioning||Billings, MT||Corby is a cancer survivor (immunocompromised) and is making business and house calls to repair/maintain customers furnaces or air conditioning during the pandemic. He has never been to Yellowstone and has lived in Montana all his life.|
|Yung Hwa||Nurse||Westchester County, NY||Yung has always been a caring person, mother of 3, loving wife, sister, daughter and friend to many. For over the past 25 years, she has been working as a maternity nurse during the night shift at a hospital in Westchester County, NY. She won her hospital’s “Big Heart” award because that essentially sums her up.
COVID-19 “patient zero“ in NY first came to her hospital this past spring and her whole world, like for many, went pear-shaped. She had to switch from caring for adorable newborn infants and their mothers to providing mainly palliative care to suffering COVID patients. Even though a few people at work seemed suspicious of her because they saw her ethnicity through her mask, she still showed compassion. Then every morning after her more than 12-hour shift, she would come home and desanitize herself in her garage. Before entering her home she would wash herself again and then help her 3 children with their schooling, her husband with their domestic tasks, her elderly parents with their domestic tasks and her sisters and friends who called daily wanting to talk to her. I do not know how much or if she has slept with all the responsibilities she has had over others.
My sister has never been on a proper family holiday outside of seeing immediate family. Her financial situation has not made it possible for her to go on distant trips. Her eldest daughter is in a nearby college partly for this reason. Her middle daughter is a graduating senior in high school. Her youngest child is in elementary school and requires special attention with his learning. Her husband’s job too has been affected by the crisis. Moreover, she turns 50 this year. When I asked her what she really wanted for her milestone birthday, knowing that no party venues might be open around her, she told me she only wanted to see me. Yung deserves to go on one of your amazing experiences because she is an amazing essential worker who is also an amazing human being.
|Essie||Teacher||New York||Essie teaches 6th grade from home. She is also completing a degree and internship at home. Her teaching never ends. She answers student’s texts, calls, FaceTimes, and emails at all hours. She offers tutoring for free and gives up all her free time to help. She is my best friend and I am in awe of how selfless she has been. Overnight her job forced her to find a new way and change everything she knew to make sure others could continue to learn. Essie goes above and beyond every day for her students and their parents. She deserves a break- she was not able to go on her vacation this year in order to stay home and teach online. She is essential to every family she works with.|
|Mack||Police Officer||Billings, MT||Mack is a police officer in Billings, Montana who selflessly puts himself on the front line every day to help our community. Throughout the pandemic, even with a little girl at home and another baby on the way, nothing can stop Mack from doing his job and protecting the city of Billings. Mack’s wife, Courtney, is also a nurse at Billings Clinic – so they’re pulling double duty when it comes to ESP’s! I’m proud of their family and think they deserve a vacation in 2021 in honor of the sacrifices they’ve made to keep our community safe!|
|Dr. Rob||Veterinarian||Billings, MT||Our pets are so important and for some their only comfort. Your veterinarian is as important as your health care provider when it comes to your fur kids. Dr. Rob and his team have always done an exceptional job and continue to do so during COVID. Navigating the day to day in a pet care setting they face the same challenges as any other health care provider. I know that my dogs are safe and well cared for in their hands.|
|Dr. Ted||ER Physician||Greater Chicago, IL||Ted is an incredibly hardworking guy who gives his all to his job. For the first five weeks of the pandemic, he was carrying a mask in a paper bag each day to work, washing and reusing it until the hospital was able to get more.
He has treated very ill patients from all over the US and many international patients visiting Chicago for business. He said there’s no way to explain what he’s seen in these months and the extreme measures they’ve taken to save people. He’s very humble and attributes the successes to his nurses and staff. We are so amazed by his nature and perseverance!
|Mark||Plant manager||TX||During the COVID shut down of March and April, Mark came to the factory every day. There was a shelter in place, and none of our plant employees were allowed to return to work.
Mark, in the hopes of keeping unemployment low, and morale high, paid EVERY ONE of his employees their full 40-hour paycheck, for 4 weeks of payroll. When the shelter in place was lifted, every employee returned to work, well-rested and eager to get!
|Lisa||Nurse||Manhasset, NY||Lisa was at the forefront of the COVID virus here in NY. Usually working as an ambulatory nurse, Lisa’s unit was immediately switched over to a COVID unit. Both Lisa & her daughter were working in the same hospital. When I asked her if she could get a break, & perhaps work in a different unit for a few days, Lisa said this was her training was for & time for her to give back. She said all the doctors & nurses were scared, but the patients were even more scared. Lisa and her daughter Liz, went above & beyond, collecting used ipads from neighbors, so families could see & talk to their family members one last time. The last 3 months were both scary, surreal, and most importantly INSPIRING. I enclosed a picture of Lisa & daughter Liz at hospital.|
|Chelsea||Occupational Therapy Assistant||Cincinnati, OH||Chelsea returned to full-time work not long before the pandemic hit. Gradually her workplace has become COVID Ground Zero because she primarily works in rehab and nursing home settings. Chelsea is a dedicated wife and mom of two young kids who has worked so hard during this, being a team-player, picking up for sick colleagues, and trying to protect her own family at the same time. She has described how draining working all day wearing full PPE can be. I’m sure this trip would be an amazing break and build memories for her and her family!|
|Christy||Registered Nurse/Nurse Midwife||Billings, MT||Christy is an outstanding, dedicated labor and delivery nurse. She has recently completed her Certified Nurse Midwife training and will begin serving the women of New York later this year. She has cared for women both in the United States and abroad and is an ideal candidate for this wonderful experience with Austin Adventures|
|Robert||TV Emergency Team||Tyler, TX||Robert was hired as part-time editor ( paid internship ) … then He became an Essential Worker … without a pay raise, he was promoted to Producer and Director for the Emergency Response TV news programs … he has worked 7 days a week … has edited produced and directed life TV shows in the Studio while others worked from home … yes, I am nominating my son …. a young man who overcame a life-threatening College Football injury which paralyzed him … Graduated / TIPA winner and really needs a spotlight once turned on him…|
|Ben||Orthopedic device representative||Billings, MT||Ben has been working hard to provide patients and surgeons with the necessary equipment and knowledge throughout the entire pandemic. He responds to the call whenever he is needed and provides his services in a professional, reassuring manner. He is very deserving of this great trip|
|Trenna||Physical Therapist||Billings, MT||Trenna returned to work shortly after the pandemic started and had to adjust quickly to a vastly different work environment than when she left. She jumped in and adapted quickly and provides her patients with much-needed physical therapy services in a safe and welcoming manner. She absolutely deserves this excellent adventure|
|Linda||owner/operator Clinical Research Associates Inc.||Nashville, TN||Linda works tirelessly in the area of drug trials. and is working to get testing done on COVID-19 vaccine. She will be due a break in the actions when her work is done. Very active family, hike bike|
|Robin||Anesthesia Technician||Billings, MT||Robin has been with St. Vincent hospital for over 30 years. She started as a housekeeper and is now one of only 3 certified anesthesia techs in the entire state! She is an incredible person and goes above and beyond for her teammates and patients every single day. During the COVID crisis Robin tirelessly sewed masks for hospital staff and the public. Robin has been working 50 hour weeks to help the OR catch up on elective surgeries. She is so selfless and deserves a special experience.
Robin has been an Anesthesia Tech for 30+ years, she’s had both knees done and takes care of an elderly man at home on top of working 50+ hours a week. Recently during covid Robin started working 12+ hours a day five days a week with call shifts. She’s an outstanding lead who goes above and beyond her job for the sake of her patients and the happiness of her coworkers.
|Ryan||Billings Fire Department||Billings, MT||Ryan has a new baby girl and a wife that is a ER nurse and they both work opposite shifts so they can care for her and also give 100% at their jobs. Ryan is an amazing Dad and goes the extra mile every day. He always is positive no matter the situation and always helps out where ever its needed. This vacation would be a great break for both of them.|
|Mackenzie||Pediatric nurse practitioner||Houston, TX||Kenz continues to work in a hot zone for Covid day in and day out with some of sickest kids in the country. Working in the largest medical center in the world, she is constantly putting herself and their family at risk for exposure. She is selfless, knowledgeable, strong, calm, and willing to go the extra mile for her patients. There is no one more deserving of a getaway!|
|Betsy||Nurse, COVID Ward||Boston, MA||My high school friend Betsy selflessly regularly works the COVID Ward at Boston’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital. I’ve been trying to rally friends and family to send her and her colleagues gift cards, etc. But this would be SO much better! Plus, a trip like this would blow the minds of her teenaged-boys too.|
|Linda||Nurse||Princeton, NJ||Linda, along with several other family members, worked throughout the pandemic. New Jersey was particularly hard hit and Princeton hospital had many Covid ICU’s. Despite exhaustion and personal risk, Linda always put the patients and the large nursing staff ahead of herself.|
|Heather||Emergency room nurse||Hamilton, MT||My aunt is one of the few that tests individuals that come to the ER for COVID. She has had to sacrifice time with her family and friends to protect others. She has had to sacrifice time my mom who has been fighting breast cancer for the last year so that she didn’t run the risk of making her sick. My aunt has been selfless to help keep those in her community safe. COVID has changed the lives of many but she has stepped up to the line throughout this difficult time.|
|Julia||Nurse||New York City||Julia has been working for less than a year as a Registered Nurse at one of the nation’s top hospitals, NYU Langone. In less than a year, she was quickly promoted from a floor nurse, to a nurse manager, to a COVID-ICU nurse. She works overtime on a regular basis and has always put others first, including her patients and fellow coworkers. Her first year as a nurse has not been the typical experience, working tirelessly at one of the top NYC hospitals in the hardest hit COVID city in the country. She deserves a vacation to say the least! Please consider Julia!|
|Leah||Nurse||Chicago, IL||Leah is an ED nurse that showed up to work everyday and diligently provided the best care to all of her patients. While dressing up in her PPE and undressing multiple times an hour each day she never once was not there for her patients and families. All of this while every night she went home to her husband and children worried about all the same concerns healthcare providers had about exposing their own families. Leah covered all shifts and assisted anyway possible to make patients feel at ease during the most difficult of times.|
|Sheryl||Deputy Clerk||Starkville, MS||Sheryl is a Breast cancer survivor and has worked through the Pandemic at the Oktibbeha County Court house were she works as a deputy clerk. She issues marriage licenses, passports and takes restitution payments where she is exposed to the public as courts cannot be closed.|
|Jennifer||Registered Nurse||Cody, WY||Jennifer is one of the most compassionate, selfless person I’ve ever met. She has always put her patients above herself, even with her heart condition. She has her own health issues and she works two jobs to help pay for her client’s medications etc. I don’t know anyone that deserves it more than her.|
|Pam||Operating Nurse||Billings, MT||Pam has been a nurse at Billings Clinic for 20yrs now and has always put her patients first. I’ve had the honor of working with her for the past 5yrs and have learned so much from her guidance. She reached out to me when my mother passed the first year of working together; she often talks about her son Trenton and the joys of raising him. During the COVID quarantine, Pam juggled both working and homeschooling with grace. She is a great resource both in and out of the medical field with multiple coworkers reaching out to get her advice. I truly love Pam and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance. She works hard and is the most deserving person I know.|
|Wyatt||Fireman||Belgrade, MT||Wyatt Christensen is on the Central Valley fire department in Belgrade MT. Wyatt puts everything he has into each one of his 24 shifts. I’ve never seen someone more passionate about their job. And ever since the Covid-19 hit Wyatt has been working even harder, longer, more stressful days. Wyatt would be the prefect nomination for the Yellowstone trip because 1. He deserves it more than anyone and 2. We have a little family and when Wyatt is off we love to go explore new places!|
|Jordan||Brain surgeon, seriously. Currently working rounds in a COVID unit though too.||Cincinnati, OH||He’s a brain surgeon and his wife is a Dr. too, having left the pediatric ER for family practice. They’re both Crossfit studs and just all around awesome people (Jordan regularly gives updates on the pandemic via Zoom calls to our gym members). Jordan is a deer hunter too, was ‘the doc’ for Cincinnati’s SWAT teams and is also ‘the doc’ to be on hand when the POTUS ever comes to town. They and their two young sons are all just brilliant, fun, grounded, exceptional people. They love life, travel and other good, sincere people too. They would be outstanding recipients of this gift and it would blow the minds of their two boys too!|
|Anne||Teacher||Milwaukee, WI||Ann’s true belief in “making a difference” lead her to chose a move from a professional career to a teaching job at a Milwaukee “inner-city” school dedicated through the Milwaukee Mission. Ann chose 1st Grade to teach because she wants to make every effort to break the “systemic” problem of racism. She believes if she’s able to start teaching the young, they can make a difference. Prior to the Pandemic Shutdown, Ann worked 60-70 hours a week. Though the schools were then closed, Ann continued to work 40 hours a week because most of the children’s inner city homes did not have access for online schooling, so for each student, weekly, Ann prepared “Work Packets” (full of school lessons and material and put together “Food Packets” (bags full of groceries) and delivered to each of her students. Ann continued weekly communications with all her student’s families. Ann saw the struggles of African Amer Low Income families and saw “a calling” that she was needed, ESPECIALLY thru the Pandemic Shutdown! She KNEW the children needed, now more than ever, to continue their education! I highly nominate Ann due to her dedication and belief in making a difference, ALWAYS, and ESPECIALLY thru the Pandemic Shutdown!|
|Joel||EMT||Hardin, MT||My husband has been on the front line since this out break. He works on the reservation where COVID19 has been hit hard. Every shift on the ambulance as an EMT he puts his life at risk. He comes home to us and always put me and the kids first by maintaining our safety as well
From the virus and he can’t wait to get up the next morning and do it again. Joel loves being an EMT and is incredible at his job! We are a family that believes nature is our church, it’s our sanctuary and place of peace. We love Montana, we fish, kayak, hike, camp and love how being in Gods country brings us together closer as a family! Thank you for this chance! Wish us luck!
|Ryan||RN||Billings, MT||Imagine loving people enough that you are willing to help them through their worst day. Sure we would do that for our close friends and family. Would we be willing to do it for a complete stranger that just had a horrific accident, was sick with something like Covid or was sleeping off a drug or alcohol overdose. That is what this incredible man does all the time with a smile on his face in the emergency department. He could use a little love back.|
|SaraBeth||Nurse Practitioner, Cone Health Green Valley Campus for Covid-19 patients||Greensboro, NC||SaraBeth was granted her Ph.D. this Spring while working full time at Greensboro’s Covid-19 hospital. She has two teenaged daughters and a husband who serves our community as a police officer, also in Greensboro. A local hotel has provided these health professionals rooms to diminish their contact with family members. This family happily gives of their mother and wife for the greater good. They miss her.
SaraBeth Is devoted, positive, and lovely.
|Ashtyn||Intensive care unit Nurse||Billings, MT||I have known Ashtyn since she was in first grade. She is my daughter’s best friend. Her family lived across the street from us. I have watched her grow up into a beautiful, caring, lovely young lady. She is smart and dedicated to her job as a nurse. Working through Covid makes her even more amazing. She still shows up with a smile and ready to take care of patients. A true heart of gold. Her family means the world to her and they still take family vacations. She is extremely dedicated to her job, patients, friends and family. She had graduated and was employed immediately. We are all so proud of her. She is truly a one of kind. With her dedication of hard work and great role models she has achieved the job of her dreams. Her first year of nursing with covid has not giving her a doubt this the job she loves.|
|Ashley||Registered Nurse||Billings, MT||Ashley Jackson is an essential Charge Nurse at Advanced Care Hospital and an invaluable member of our healthcare team, rarely does she have a smooth stress-free shift where she is able to clock out on time! Always has a smile on her face, Handles critical events like a Boss, and has time to give another employee a mini shoulder message, keeps the team afloat, stepping in to complete tasks to help other team members falling behind and giving encouragement, support and mentor-ship to minimize the stress on her team! On her days off she helps her parents on their cattle ranch teaching her kids about ranch life , taking them skiing, helping a co-worker with a concussion while skiing, teaching her kids various life skills and just an amazing person!|
|Amber||Travel RN||Billings, MT||I had the pleasure of working with Amber at Advanced Care Hospital during her travel assignment at our hospital. Amber is a very skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate nurse who went on to other assignments including two rotations in NYC as a Covid19 essential worker in the hot zone. While she was there she posted about her experience there including her struggles, victories and building friendships while overcoming and defeating Covid19! She was off for a month to quarantine and once safe spend some much needed time with her beautiful twin grand-babies! She has now accepted another travel assignment in Chicago to continue the fight in a very volatile environment to champion the defeat in Chicago’s hot zone to defeat Covid19!|
|Katie||ICU Nurse||Omaha, NE||Katie has been working on the front lines of the pandemic from the start having been shifted from her place in the ICU to her hospitals COVID-19 unit. She works nights running around and taking care of the most critically sick and is extremely deserving of a break. She’s a hard working, caring, and kind individual who always puts her patients first and this is why I am nominating her for this trip.|
|Kacie||Respiratory therapist||Billings, MT||Kacie moves home from Seattle where she was an RT at the University of Washington to save money for PA school. She has been working face to face with the virus at our Billings hospital quarantining herself to the basement to protect her father who checks all the at-risk boxes. She has held scared lonely patients in her arms because their family could not be with them. She helps babies breathe and teaches toddlers that breathing treatments are a good thing. She is my hero!|
|Tracy||Fiber Optic Specialist||CHARLOTTE, NC||When the severity of COVID-19 was announced. Tracy was notified that he would be deemed an essential worker. Tracy has been on the front-lines making sure fiber optic services were provided to local residents and businesses, helping to make sure that all lines of communication remained open during this pandemic. On several occasions, he was asked to work overnight to make sure there was no interruption of service. And without hesitation, he jumped into action. Tracy has always demonstrated his commitment to helping others. Whether through his job, food banks, financial donations, or down to rolling up his sleeves to help anyone in need. Time after time, he has always demonstrated these selfless and random acts of kindness, which has made an impact on our community. So, today I nominate Tracy Williams as an essential worker hero.|
|Lindsey||RN||Bozeman, MT||Lindsey is an RN at Bozeman Deaconess. Her department is technically elective surgery so it was closed during the pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped her from working more than her normal schedule, having days off taken away and exposing herself potentially to Covid19 while on the front lines. She has worked tirelessly during this pandemic and is in desperate need of a vacation!|
|Sonia||Flight Attendant||Albuquerque, NM||Sonia has continuously stayed positive and worked hard throughout the pandemic. She has had to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly in this strange and frustrating time for travelers. She has stayed strong and powered through this tough time, people have been mean to her on some flights and very disrespectful. She could definitely use some R&R and enjoy a flight without working!!|
|Lana||Respiratory Therapist||Bismark, ND||Lana has been on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic. She has stayed strong and positive and has been able to help many people during this tough time. She is Wonder woman and deserves a wonderful trip for all she has done!!|
|McKensey||Nurse||Billings, MT||McKensey consistently cares for patients to her maximum ability and gives her all to her work and patients. She works in the ER and cross-trained to work in ICU, thus dealing with COVID patients all the time. She is incredible and so adventurous.|
|Andy||Commercial & Ag Banker||Billings, MT||Andy who is a commercial and ag lender at First Interstate Bank has worked nights weekends and everything in between making sure our small businesses have financing to stay open during the pandemic. He’s learned the ins and outs of the federal cares act and helped so many businesses to keep their doors open. This work is on top of his regular job of ag and commercial lending. He truly cares about the business owners who are the life blood of our small communities in Montana. All of this while still being the best dad and husband…helping us make memories and enjoy the best of Montana’s outdoors with our two year old and our five year old during this historic time.|
|Lisa||Direct support professional||Billings, MT||Lisa has been working for young adults with disabilities for about three years. She works and works and goes home after graveyard to her two kids and husband and stays up to teach and play with the kids. She sacrifices a lot for friends, her job and family.
She is always willing to lend a helping hand. She puts others first even if it means she has to struggle. She has been the only one in her family to work and provide for her kids and spouse and continuously struggle and I don’t hear her complain. I just feel that she deserves a little break in life right now from taking care of everybody else.
|Kelly||Nurse, AF Reservist||Colorado Springs, CO||I met Kelly in my Air Force Reserve unit. It immediately occurred to me she was a “Go to” girl. She is passionate about serving her nation and making our Airmen the best mission ready medical unit in the USAF. I did not know until much later, that she and I were both single mom’s. I have no idea how she does what she does and makes it look effortless. When President Trump announced at the end of March that he would immediately release reservists to fight Covid….it did not surprise me that Kelly was one of the first ones out the door. Less than 24hrs notice, she had her home life packaged up (somehow) and she was on her way to NYC. The illness and death she saw was more than that of war. No previous deployment could have prepared her for the heartache, exhaustion and daily personal fear. But all military medics will tell you, “This is our 9-11.” She was warrior prepared and answered the call. She will be forever changed and we will be forever thankful!|
|Rachel||Dialysis Nurse||Wilmington, DE||Rachel often reports to work at 4 am and returns at 9 pm. Her work is essential because her critically ill patients would die without dialysis. Their underlying health condition makes them susceptible to the Covid virus. Rachel typically handles 50 patients a day, and she is a wonderful wife and mother to two teenagers. Her family could sure use a vacation.|
|Ivonne||Department Manager||New Haven, CT||I nominated Ivonne because she sacrifice her live and her baby going to work every day pregnant and dealing with all the customers and other coworkers who maybe been in contact with someone that have the virus and no one appreciate stuff like that, she can get infected at any moment. I just want to say a good thank you!|
|Laura||Respiratory Therapist||Round Rock, TX||She’s a mother of 4 children, one with special needs. She’s one of those that won’t ever say no and will put herself in the line of fire before others even when your standing beside her being demanding she sit this one out. She’s had to send her children to grandparents and do her best to help her son Hayden with special needs understand why while holding back tears not knowing how long they’ll be gone. She’s the teammate you want working along side of you when your taking care of any Covid 19 patients because she’s always got your back.|
|Kathryn||Nurse Practitioner||Nashville, TN||Katie has worked throughout this crisis as a provider with in-hospital cancer patients-assessing for chemo, side effects like uncontrolled pain, putting in lines, treating nausea/vomiting,fever…often she has tested for COVID 19 in the outpatient clinics and the ER, acted as emotional support for patients who are SO alone as their family cannot be visitors in the hospital, held hands with a few as they were dying alone. She has isolated herself from family and friends to prevent exposure to them and then back to her patients in the hospital, never wanting to be a vector. All with a positive, calm, but untiring spirit who is in need of a break. She has had to cancel times travel plans 3 times to keep working. She is worthy and would so love to win this prize.|
|Jody||pediatrician||Santa Monica, CA||Jody, my daughter, is a single parent with 12 year old twin daughters and a 10 year old son. She has privileges at 5 hospitals in LA and works 7 days a week when she is on call. She makes house calls when parents are not comfortable with a visit to the office or the tent behind the office. She is often awakened during the night when she covers for the other doctors but always answers questions and parental worries with great information, patience and love. Her children are quarantining and have missed a lot of school due to the fires in CA and to COVID 19. While so many families have spent more time together during Covid, this has not been the case in their home. They could all use a change of scenery and a break from their daily routine on a wonderful family adventure such as Austin Adventures provides.|
|Dan||Restaurant manager||San Antonio, TX||Dan is my son in law & through out this whole Covid nightmare he has remained working at the restaurant ( at first curbside only when the shutdown happened) but back in June they reopened . This means a room full of people w/o masks that he works in every day. This makes him a frontline worker for sure. It’s so scary to me that he does this even though he’s potentially exposed every single day because the virus is rampant here in Texas right now. I know everyone in the medical field are out there daily fighting the fight against Covid & I’m glad they have PPE (albeit having to reuse, thats a whole other issue). All the restaurant employees have are paper masks. He gets home & leaves clothes , shoes etc in garage & heads straight to shower off any potential virus that may be on his person. He comes home to his wife ( my daughter ) & his 2-1/2 year old daughter. They had Covid cases amongst employees in the restaurant last month & at this point it seems inevitable he’ll get it. He works for a large chain restaurant & corporate has decided they can & will continue to serve guests inside. He has to provide for his family so he has no choice but to continue this daily game of Russian roulette. A trip to Yellowstone would be such a blessing for them after this ordeal.|
|Andi||Nurse||Fort Wayne, IN||my niece is a tough girl. she has brought up three of her kids on her own. went from welfare to being an RN. she got Covid 19. fought it hard. and returned to work. I am proud of her!!!|
|Brandon||Firefighter/Engineer||Riviera Beach, FL||This is my son and I am actually nominative his family. He is a Firefighter and his wife Brittany Keatts is a Trauma Nurse in West Palm Beach. They both risk their lives every day as they help support and take care of their communities. They are not flashy just solid dependable and present to do jobs that we as a society need. They are not flashy promoting themselves but they are a bright light during these dark times. I am proud of them.|
|Randy||Correction officer||FL||With the only protection being soap and water and a single mask. Dealing with prisoners on a daily basis, he continues to work directly with the inmates going out to the airport and care for the lawn. Insuring the public are safe from the inmates, and keeping the inmates safe from sickness.|
|Kimberly||Labor and Delivery Nurse||Le Porte, IN||Kimberly is a labor and delivery in Indiana.She strives to help families bring in their loved one into the world during these crazy times ,making it still a joyful occasion and safe for everyone involved. She always goes above and beyond|
|David||ER Physician||San Diego, CA||David works in the emergency room with Covid-19 patients. He loves his job and has been working a lot of extra shifts during this pandemic. He hasn’t had as much time to spend with his family. It would be nice if David could win this vacation so that he can recharge himself and spend time with his family. David’s hobby is photography. He loves taking photos of his family and nature, so this would be perfect for him.|
|David||Tyson Chicken factory worker||Wilkesboro, NC||David has been very positive about going to work every day although other coworkers around him were being tested positive for Covid-19. David felt a duty to show up for work to help get “the job done.” Tyson produces chicken that goes out to grocery stores for the rest of us to purchase. David has not contracted Covid to date. He has an extremely positive attitude & outlook for his job & on life!|
|Scott||Physical Therapist||McHenry, IL||Scoot is selfless when it comes to his patients, there was never a doubt that he would remain open during this crisis. Scott has a private practice Physical Therapy clinic he sees patients one on one. It’s been a struggle to stay a float, but he never gave up on those who needed him.|
|Ryan||Registered nurse||Philadelphia, PA||My son Ryan White has been an RN for 4 years. He has been working as a cardiac ICU nurse at UPenn hospital. When Covid-19 started he volunteered to cover Covid ICU instead. His girlfriend is an ER nurse at the same hospital. They were both truly selfless. They were not able to see their families for three months. Ryan also ordered an engagement ring for Victoria in March and the company in NY closed because of Covid. He finally got the ring in June and proposed and she said yes! I would love to see them be able to go away for a honeymoon. They are avid hikers and really enjoy national parks!|
|Chris||Pharmacist||Hamilton, MA||Chris is a dedicated worker to the Hamilton, MA community. As a pharmacist, he works countless hours, tirelessly and eagerly to help those in need. During covid-19, he has been flexible with serving customers –whether in-person, curbside, home delivery, or over the phone, he aims to accommodate. Chris strives to keep inventory stocked for the needs of others, sometimes traveling a distance on his “time off” to get essential items. He consistently puts others’ welfare at the forefront, all while with a big heart and sincere smile. He does not work for recognition, although he deserves wholeheartedly to be recognized!!!|
|Blake||Fire Fighter||Tulare, CA||Blake has worked for the Air Nation Guard for almost 18 years and decided his heart was with fire. He now supports me (his wife) and 3 children between his fire schedule and as an officer at the Air Guard. His passion is helping his community and supporting his family.|
|Shamanta||Patient Care Technician||Brooklyn, NY||She lost her Stepfather to the Covid 19 and still kept working. I would see the fear in her eyes but she kept working even after a co-worker lost the battle too. She needs a break after all of that also her hospital just opened up a covid floor.|
|Brooke||Nurse||Loveland, Greeley and Fort Collins, CO||Brooke has placed herself on the front-lines of the pandemic by testing patients for COVID-19 at drive up sites. As this pandemic has developed, I have watched her grapple with learning what this disease is about, and the risks she faces for herself and family. I’ve watched her come to terms with her fears and bravely place herself on the front-line. She takes measures to keep herself, husband, daughters and mother as safe as possible yet knowing the risk is not 0% she keeps going and fighting to help navigate through this pandemic. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, she worked tirelessly as a Cardiac ICU nurse, volunteered for honor flights for veterans and started a nonprofit organization, “Confident.”, to provide female hygiene products to girls in need at Northern Colorado middle schools. She deserves a break and time away with her family.|
|Steven||Critical care paramedic||Knoxville, TN||City of Knoxville did not recognize the EMS as essential workers however they are preserving through time. He has worked double shifts, continued with his college classes and is still a full time dad to his children.|
|Joseph||Emergency Medicine Physician||Newburgh, NY||Joe is an ER doctor (first year attending) who just finished his residency in 2019. He is my husband and we just got married in a smaller ceremony on 7/10/20. Throughout this entire coronavirus crisis and even before he has NEVER once complained about going to work. He knows it is his job to do and a privilege to take care of people at this time. He has never complained about it being busy or the precautions he had to take or lack of PPE. He shows up and does his job. He also has never once complained about having a smaller wedding. We had to cancel our reception, cut back on our guest list and never got to book our honeymoon to Italy. He would be the most deserving of a vacation.|
|Ryan & Theresa||RNs||Lansing, MI||Both husband and wife work as nurse. Wife was an ER nurse and all worked tiredlessly . The also manage three kids and that is a challenge to keep everyone safe. To make this interesting, their oldest brother Sean is a Lansing Police officer and younger sister Sarah is a nurse and her husband a fire medic. During all the crazy work serving the public, they also helped their mother remain at home, never to go out. Doing the daily task of running around for her provisions. This family deserve a break..|
|Jeanie||Nurse||Knoxville, TN||Oh wow where do I start. First of all just the emotional aspect of her job. Wondering who might or might not be positive for Covid. She worries about people not coming in for treatment to the hospital where she works because of the same fear. I have watched her be a real trooper over this whole ordeal. Now she has volunteered to work at test sites in addition to her regular nursing job. She just amazes me!|
|William||Paramedic/Fire fighter||Elmira, NY||Will is a paramedic that runs full time in NY state and also part time in PA. He is also a volunteer firefighter locally. He worked over 58 hours per week during the shutdown and was exposed multiple times to the virus through the worst of the outbreak. He stepped up to cover when others where unable to do there shifts due to illness. He had to quarantine due to exposure. As soon as he could he was back to work. He volunteered to travel to NY city to assist with responders. He is very dedicated to his profession and the community that he works for.|
|Lucy||Medical Assistant||Arcadia, CA||Lucy is an amazing wife and a loving mother of four. As a Medical Assistant, she works hand in hand with other professionals at Sun Clinical Laboratory to ensure that patient needs are taken care of during these chaotic times when days are never the same. She has given up time with her family in order to better serve her community. No matter what is happening in her life, Lucy makes sure that people around her know they are loved.|
|Holly||ER doctor||Columbus, OH||She is selflessly taking care of Covid patients In the emergency room and still find time to do the little things for her friends and family|
|Crystal||LVN||Texas City, TX||Works in LTAC on Covid unit, any shift, never misses the gym for Crossfit. and has a 5-year old, all while in school to get her RN, AND following mom’s footsteps in Nursing…never quits regardless of how hard and/or how long it takes!|
|Jacqueline||Certified Nurse Assistant||Grandvilee, MI||My Mom works very hard. Twelve hour shifts, taking care of the elderly. I feel that what she does is very stressful and now COVID has made it even harder for her at work. I feel that nurse assistant’s are often looked over, because they are not a “nurse.” My mom deserves a nice vacation, that she doesn’t have to work overtime to afford! Thanks for your consideration 🤓|
|Maria||Nurse Assistant||Stanhope, NJ||I am a Nurse Assistant. I work very hard taking care sick patients all day long. I am on my feet all day long. I love to be the one to experience this trip. I truly need the rest and recharge to be back with my patients. From the bottom of my heart I really APPRECIATED if you choose me I am very humble. Thank you so much!
|Joe||Truck driver||Brantford, CA||Joe has worked long hours delivering parts to police ambulance fire trucks and surrounding truck business’s|
|Philip Daniel||Registered Nurse||Seattle, WA||Dan is a hardworking, smart, dedicated, compassionate human being. He likes to educate the patient and his/her family members to be more aware and participate in the care. Dan got deployed and leads a medical team to Honduras, he is loaded with many responsibilities and he hasn’t taken a vacation for several years now, either he is at the University of WA Medical Center and on his nights “off” at the U, he is doing Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Thus, he doesn’t have a day or night off that is just dedicated to himself or go on vacation. I hope he wins this trip so he can take a much needed break for himself and his family/mother. Thank you!|
|Arlene||Nurse||Manhattan, NY||Arlene has been working every day during the pandemic and even got her unit changed to become an Emergency Room nurse during the pandemic because she felt that’s were she was needed the most . What got to me on my conversations with Arlene is that she tells me she is ready to confront the second wave of necessary and that she hopes they leave her working at the VA ER. Bravo, my friend bravo 👏👏👏👏💕I am so proud of her . She sacrificed all these months being separated from her two younger daughters that where under her sister’s care .|
|Julie||Registered Nurse||Fulton, NY||My mom is a nurse who left us to go combat COVID19 downstate during the peak of the crisis. During that 6 weeks she continued to teach her online classes (she is also an online educator) & never complained once. She is always putting others first.|
|Justin||ER Doctor||Lynchburg, VA||Dr. Rizer went to work daily being at risk for contracting Covid-19. A bigger concern was getting Covid-19 and transmitting to his wife and two Beautiful girls. The long hours and the physical toll of wearing protective equipment 24/7 was very stressful. The sacrifice of being away from his family and working in the ER during this Pandemic I believe Dr. Rizer should be considered for this adventure. Thank you!|
|Melissa||XRay tech in a hospital||Las Cruces, NM||Melissa works as an xray tech in a major hospital in our town. She goes to works every day never knowing what she is going to face, she could have to go into a COVID patient room at any moment. She never gets depressed, always optimistic, etc. I truly admire her for all she does!|
|Robert||U.P.S Driver||LAS CRUCES, NM||This man goes to work with a smile everday with the satisfaction of serving his customers essential supplies and needs. He comes home after 12 hour shifts and regardless of working in extreme weather conditions he feels blessed to be able to provide for his family.|
|Jorge||Environmental specialists||Stanton, CA||Our environment specialist (trash Man) are taken for granted and their work is hard and essential for us all, everyone gives props to all the nursing staff police man ups delivery postal service but never mention the trash man that collects your trash week after week very quietly|
|Lauren||VP of Innovation||Boston, MA||Lauren has converted our two respite units into covid recovery sites and has worked with multiple hotels across Massachusetts to also act as recovery sites. This keeps patients and families safe until the patient can return home without affecting others. Lauren works out of these sites putting herself at risk every day. She is my hero!|
|Cathy||Medical Assistant/Receptionist||Canton, OH||My mom sacrifices everything for her family regardless of COVID-19. My dad has been fighting a lung condition for years and for about 2 years, stage 4 lung cancer. With finances all on her shoulders, she continued to bravely go to work every day in a doctor’s office and still go home and take care of my dad. She is selfless and deserves the adventure of a lifetime.|
|Tonya||Nurse||Lititz, PA||My daughter is a selfless, hardworking, caring nurse working at a Covid19 urgent care center. Has put herself at risk to care for others. This site sees patients that are turned away by others and need emergency care.|
|Brady||Operations Director||Blythwood, SC||While office personnel and other management worked from home Brady has worked day and night during this difficult time. He has worked long hours on new protocols, which keep changing, to keep his employees safe. Not only does he need to make sure his employees health is not compromised but they also have to be able to work safely in an industrial environment with ever changing restrictions. He has sacrificed time with family and has had many sleepless nights to assure everyone is as safe as possible while continuing to worry about having to furlough people. These uncertaint times are weighing heavy on him. His biggest sacrifice has been his time and energy. We are so thankful everyday for his sacrifices.|
|Kipley||Shipping Clerk||Jefferson, NC||Kip works at AEV, they produce 25%of America’s ambulances. They have all worked so hard through this pandemic. They produced and delivered 47 ambulances to NY right in the middle of the crisis!!! He has worked overtime in the heat of the summer. He only makes 12 dollars a hour and it would have been financially better to sit home on unemployment! Nurses, doctors, couriers, cashiers always get recognized for their service but he has gone unnoticed and unappreciated! He deserves this! He comes home every night at 6:30, falls asleep to get up at 4 am and do it all again!|
|Kurt||Grocery Store Dock Receiver||La Quinta, CA||My husband is a very hard and dedicated worker. He works long hours and never missed a day. He cares about the people and company he serves.|
|Holly||Registered Nurse||Columbus, OH||This lady is a mom of 6 and an amazing wife, daughter, sister and nurse. Since the beginning of this virus her Neuro unit transformed into a covid unit. She and her crew had no real idea of what they were getting into. However, my wife rose to the occasion and without complaining or fear she stepped up and did what was asked of her. She has seen people pass, she has performed CPR, she made sure her family was cared for, she has made sure her family was safe (even while she was put on the Frontline). She has seen patients discharged and reunited them with their loved ones. She has had our anniversary trip scheduled since last year and just this week we canceled. Even though she is on “vacation” she still picked up hours at her hospital because they were in such desperate need of nurses. She has done this all without complaining, looking back, and knowing this is what she has been called to do. She is an extraordinary nurse and I’m sure all of her patients would agree.|
|Amanda||nurse||Wilsonville, OR||My mother is a nurse. She goes to work everyday and comes into contact with covid patients regularly. She GOT c19, recuperated, and went right back to work so that she could continue to help save lives. She deserves this.|
|Shelly||Police officer||Arlington, TX||Officer Bateman has always given 110% to her job. She continues to grow professionally and gives back to her community. Officer Bateman trains fellow officers and is highly respected by her coworkers. Office Bateman has been a long time Life Is Good fan as well. Officer Bateman has always been a hero to many prior to the pandemic because she fights daily to protect those in her community.|
|Laurie||Registered nurse||Poughkeepsie, NY||Laurie is my daughter who during the corona virus pandemic sacrificed leaving her family of 5 to go to work and take care of cancer patients. She is always there when you need her no matter what time or day. She would be so worthy of a break and a wonderful trip like this.|
|Colleen||Emergency Room patient care technician||Edison, NJ||This nominee is my daughter Colleen. She is an ER technician. She is presently going to nursing school and will graduate in May 2021. In February of this year she started a new job in the ER of JFK Hackensack Meridian She wanted to have a closer commute for work and was entering her last year of nursing school. One month into her orientation she was hit with the Covid nightmare. She worked tirelessly with N95 masks, face shields and plastic gowns helping admit and triage all the dozens of sick patients come into the ER. She would come home in tears and exhaustion, just to shower and decontaminate herself. On her worst days, she told me she had to wrap 7-8 bodies in one day from Covid deaths. In May, she developed a severe blood clot in her subclavian vein in her chest. She weathered through this as well. She has never stopped working during this horrific time. She is having surgery to help the possibility that a blood clot won’t happen again. There are no guarantees. She is starting school in September for her final stretch to graduating to become an RN. She did virtual school throughout the entire spring and never lost a beat. I admire this kid more than I can express.
I nominate her to be a recipient for this fantastic gift. I only wish we could give it to every front lines worker
|Ashley||RN-travel nurse and Public Health Nurse Specialist Infectious Disease||Dalton, GA||My wife has been a full time front line worker in the pediatric population as a travel nurse in Nashville, NY, NJ, and FL while also working 29 hrs a week in infectious disease for our home state of Georgia as a public health nurse specialist. She has made so many personal sacrifices without one single complaint, and I know more than anything she would love a getaway with our kids. My wife and I went to Yellowstone once a long time ago and have always wanted to take our kids and go back. She desperately needs and deserves a reset button. She drives back and forth every week so she can fulfill her public health duties and also help take care of her disabled mother who lives next door. My wife amazes me pulling this off while still being an amazing full time mother of 3 and wife. When schools first shut down she stepped up wanting me to keep our kids safe at home while she left to help the hardest hit areas one after another. I feel like this nomination alone would help show my appreciation for what she has taken on for our family and others, and I know she would never ask for anything for herself. She would happily accept this though because Yellowstone is one of her favorite places in the world. We are trying to remodel our house, and we don’t have the funds to take a family vacation because we have run into unexpected extra costs in that process. This would be a true blessing and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to her. I appreciate every nominee because I am very aware of the toll being an essential employee has taken on many. My wife always says we are all essential to each other and refuses to place herself above anyone else. She would cherish an opportunity to make some memories of a lifetime with a trip like this. It would be an extra level of awesome to be able to do it in recognition of all she stepped up and took on without hesitation. Thank you again for recognizing those who have done the same. I hope she is chosen for this honor, but I know there are so very many who I am sure are all deserving.|
|Melanie||Pediatric nurse practitioner||Phoenix, AZ||Melanie works tirelessly with the pediatric ED patients at our county hospital, and she has been focused on providing the best care to all of her recent pediatric COVID patients and working with families to prevent the spread to the rest of the families. She is quarantined from her family for safety reasons and has been isolated to protect them. She also serves on the county sheriff’s office canine search and rescue team. She and her family deserve this vacay and would immensely enjoy this type of opportunity being an outdoor enthusiast.|
|Amy||Nurse||Torrance, CA||Amy works tirelessly taking care of icu covid patients. She is trained to do ecmo and has worked extra shifts to perform this life saving procedure on a 21 year old. She had an exposure to covid when a patient she was taking care of for heart problems, who was not on the covid floor tested positive the day after she last took care of him. She was only wearing a surgical mask. She now she is self isolating while waiting for test results, and has not been able to join her family on a much needed and highly anticipated family vacation.|
|Jennifer||Warehouse amazon||Lakeland, FL||Worked since day one putting her life and the life of her grandma at home with breast cancer at risk but she never gave up sacrificing everything to make sure people got their essential stuff at a fast pace|
|Jessica||ICU nurse||Gulfport, MS||Jessica is a mother to two small children. She works in ICU directly with the most severe and vulnerable cases. She’s been working overtime hours and going wherever they need her.|
|Jason||Firefighter||Houston, TX||For the past several months, my husband had been working 72 hour shifts with only a 24 hour break in between To come
Home and sleep and spend time with the family. He is a district chief and spends his days fighting fire, managing the health and safety of his crew and giving an abundance of more support. In his 24 hours off he fights to stay awake as our children, although older are still dying for his attention. I’m an essential worker in childcare and he supports me the best he can. He has missed so much not being home these past few months.
|Kathryn||VA clinical pharmacist||Iron Mountain, MI||Katy works at the Oscar Johnson VA. It is the only VA for most of the U.P. She helps our vets, primarily PTSD patients deal with their meds and helps them navigate their lives.Especially in these times. Unfortunately she has been very busy trying to give these warriors hope. Katy is a friendly face they can open up to. She has been there for them during the entire Covid period. She loves our country, especially our Vets. Katy chose the VA as her career in honor of her great grandfather and grandfather who were in the Navy. Katy makes a huge difference for these PTSD vets, it is a difficult, stressful career and sometimes more than anyone can imagine, but she wouldn’t do anything else.|
|Maria||Medical Assistant||Grand Terrace, CA||Maria has been very organized and consistent with assisting our practitioners with Covid testing in our outside tent. She has kept the process flowing and has taught other staff members the process. She is vigilant with keeping the staff safe from getting this virus while collecting tests swabs. She educates patients to help stop the spread. She is the bomb for our clinic!|
|Robin||Physical Therapist||Nashua, NH||Robin works with me in acute care at a local hospital. She came down with coronavirus in March and continues to work towards full recovery. Her husband also contracted the virus. They are hardworking healthcare workers who have been through a lot. I would love to see them enjoy a vacation together as Robin continues her road to recovery.|
|Michael||RN||Defiance, Ohio||My son works all hours needed at this hospital and another hospital in Toledo, Ohio. He is sent to different areas of the hospital to deal with specific circumstances. He is educated in working the respirators and set ups. Not all employees are as knowledgeable of the use and set up. All the while he has a wife and 4 children at home. He deals with an assortment of patients in the Emergency room, and other floors he is sent to. He was also a EMT, and Paramedic a few years ago on a helicopter unit. He so deserves a wonderful, memorable vacation with his family.|
|Erin||Traveling nurse/CMA||Great Bend, KS||Erin has been called into work at all hours during these past few months as people have been quarantined. Without hesitation, she goes where she is needed despite being fearful of getting sick herself and passing it to her family. She remains dedicated to providing loving care to her elderly patients and calming their fears as best she can. She maintains a professional attitude through these crazy times and tries her best to stay upbeat. Erin truly deserves a vacation as she has never been able to take more than a couple days off the past few years. Please consider Erin for your most essential worker.|
|Matthew||Firefighter/EMT||Duvall, WA||My husband is a career Firefighter/EMT and on probation during this pandemic. I would like to nominate him for his hard work and dedication to his community.|
|Ashley||Environmental aide/housekeeping||Casper, WY||Our daughter Ashley has worked at Wyoming Medical Center full-time for 9 years. She works a 40 plus hour week Monday through Friday starting at 5am each day. She worked the entire time during this pandemic and quarantine. Ashley has Asperger’s Syndrome, but she hasn’t let her disability affect her life or work. She and her youngest brother have never let their diagnosis define them. My husband and I are very proud of the young woman that she is. She has job integrity and more pride in her responsibilities at her job than most people.|
|Carla||Phlebotomist/lab tech at Atlantic General Hospital||Berlin, MD||Whether it is a pandemic, or just a regular week, Carla is always willing to go the extra mile, for her co workers, her patients or her family. She goes to work at 5 am every day but that does not keep her from always having a smile and a kind and supportive word. Everyone comes before what Carla needs.In the 16 years I have known her, I have never met anyone who has anything but great things to say about the sweet person that she is! I am so blessed that she married my son!|
|Deanna||CNA in ICCU||Perkasie, PA||This is my Fiancé and she got accepted into the hospital by our house, that she’d been fighting for awhile to get into, at the very start of COVID-19. Knowing the risks she still took the job to peruse her dreams to get the experience she needs to one day become a nurse. She works in the ICCU and takes care of very sick patients on a daily basis and works so hard but always has a smile on her face. I’ve been very sick and in and out of the hospital since February and haven’t been able to work. She fights on the front line every day in that hospital and than comes home to take care of myself and our beautiful kids. She deserves nothing more than this because she never takes time for herself. She’s always taking care of everyone else and now it’s her turn to be taken care of for once.|
|Sarah||Nurse Practioner||Birmingham, AL||Sarah works for the Jefferson County Health Department in Birmingham AL. She has continued her work with chronically ill patients who are part of the public system-both in person care and remotely throughout this crisis. She also has continued to teach her opiod reversal classes throughout the community as this crisis has led to an increase in drug use and drug overdose. She is positive, hopeful, and gives wonderful care to some of the most needy and sick in Alabama. Her dedication and responsive care in a time of this COVID health crisis has been selfless and so amazing. She has worked with the health department on testing, community education, care of family and those in quarantine, and continued regular care for the sick and elderly with chronic disease.|
|Cindy||ICU Nurse||Houston, TX||I am nominating my older sister, Cindy. Cindy is an ICU nurse that works in the covid unit at her hospital. She works 13 hour shifts with a great attitude, and works diligently to ensure quality care for her patients. Not only is she caring at work, but also outside of work. She goes above and beyond for everyone around her! On her off days, she makes care packages for her coworkers at the hospital! Her selflessness and dedication to her patients and profession deserves recognition! She worked as a critical care nurse through her masters program and recently completed it to become a family nurse practitioner.|
|Erin||Nurse||Philadelphia, PA||My sister is a hard working nurse in the Philadelphia area. She has been working since the beginning of the pandemic making sure every patient is loved when they can’t see their families. On top of her regularly scheduled each week she would pick up numerous extra shifts. She also contracted Corona and as soon as she nursed herself back to health she went right back to work on the frontlines.|
|Amanda||RN Clinical Manger||Coshocton, OH||Nurses are undoubtedly the heart and soul of our healthcare system, and Amanda is no exception.
In March of 2020, Amanda tested positive for Covid19 and was subsequently admitted to the ICU with life-threatening symptoms. Thankfully, after several days of intense therapy, she was able to come home and has since fully recovered. She has even volunteered: one, to do radio and newspaper interviews to educate others about her experience and two, is donating her plasma in an effort to further knowledge of the antibodies associated with a recovered Coronavirus positive individual and how it can help current COVID-19 patients.
|Oliver||Occupational Therapist||Palo Alto, CA||Oliver was the 1st therapist to treat COVID patients at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. He volunteered in early March so that older coworkers would not be assigned to this high-risk unit. He helps patients sit, stand, walk, feed themselves, toilet & regain their strength. Because of the close and extensive contact with these Veterans, he’s been sleeping in our office. My daughter & I miss his hugs and snuggles but we are so proud of our healthcare hero and the sacrifices he’s made! We’d love to take a family vacation next year to celebrate making it through this pandemic.|
|Crystal||Hospital Pharmacist||Houston, TX||Crystal is a night-shift pharmacist, reviewing the medication orders for a 600 bed hospital in a medically underserved area. As a pharmacist, she collaborates with other healthcare providers to determine best course of treatment and to prevent errors from reaching patients. She volunteered to put in extra time specifically to prepare the medication for covid patients. Crystal has sacrificed time with her family as she has avoided contact with them during this time to prevent spreading the virus to those she cares about. Crystal has a love for hiking and is most deserving of this amazing experience.
I would like to nominate my older sister, Crystal. She is a hospital pharmacist who works 7 nights straight to ensure all the patients at the hospital get the correct medication and dosage! Even though she works a week straight, she still maintains her positive energy and optimism! On her off days, she even prepares care packages for her coworkers at the hospital! She loves her ice cream, going fishing, and hiking. She truly deserves this getaway after working so hard at the hospital.
|Joe||EMT||Montgomery Township, NJ||Joe has been a firefighter and EMT since high school. He has continued to work as a volunteer EMT, while working in the field of finance. When the pandemic hit, his firm allowed employees with essential skills to take a leave to serve on the front lines. Joe took a 5 week leave and worked full time as an EMT. He’s back to his corporate job, but still serves as a volunteer EMT.|
|Kimby||Educator||New York City||Kimby is the Director of Service Learning and Civic engagement at Friends Seminary in NYC. She develops opportunities for students K -12 and their families to provide service to those in need and to help them become engaged citizens advocating for justice. When the pandemic hit, she had to creatively revamp every program, changing experiences that had been most often hands-on and in-person, to virtual activities that would still effective and meaningful. She worked tirelessly to make the changes while helping the students manage the technical aspect of this new way of serving those in need and being civic-minded.|
|Kathy||Acute care Physical Therapist||Nashua, NH||Kathy is a very special person. Despite being over 60 which places her in a high risk category for Covid, Kathy has worked every scheduled day during this pandemic in close contact with patients assisting them with all their mobility needs. She never took a day off and often stayed late to make sure everyone was taken care of. Kathy approaches every day with a smile on her face no matter how busy or stressful it is. She provides close hands on care, always encouraging her patients to do their best to get them back home and back to independence as soon as possible. Kathy is a true team player and is always ready to chip in and help out wherever she is needed. I feel very fortunate to have worked with Kathy for the last twenty plus years. You won’t find anyone more deserving of this honor.|
|Ashley||Registered Nurse||Phoenix, AZ||Being a Nurse in this pandemic is hard: Ashley is my best friend and the best and bravest person I know for being on the front line. She pivoted from an exciting new position at Banner Health to be front and center on a Covid floor, being there for all of the people suffering from a virus that also took so much from her. Not only is she a nurse — 1000 miles away from her home of Dallas, TX, unable to see friends and family — she’s also a “Covid Bride” who had to postpone her first dream wedding on May 16th AND then cancel her rescheduled date of July 4th once being moved to a Covid floor as to not put her guests or patients’ health at risk. She canceled her wedding indefinitely, canceled her honeymoon, and yet shows up every day, sleeps when she can, and never once has complained. She’s more selfless than anyone I know and has given up so much to be there for everyone else that I hope I can do something to give her a little bit of a break and a delayed “should have been honeymoon”.|
|Brandon||Manager / Team Leader||Albuquerque, NM||Brandon is a manager and team leader at Target. He is the one who deals with employee and shopper apprehensions about the virus. He fills in when an employee fears coming to work. He helps customers with their special needs around the virus. He confronts customers about wearing mask in an effort to abide by state health orders. He organizes and keeps employees motivated in keeping things clean and safe for everyone. He has never missed one day of work since the pandemic started all at the same time being a full time college student at UNM.|
|Emily||Endodontist||Louisville, KY||Folks suffering dental pain know they can’t wait for a Covid-19 vaccine to get relief. Dr. Emily Kelly has been serving the Louisville, KY community throughout the pandemic. Her location near first responders has meant that a significant share of her patients have come from this group. Root canals are often anticipated with mixed emotions. Emily and her practice partner Kelly have used enhanced protective procedures to give patients a greater sense of calm and reassurance. Her practice has donated personal protective equipment and supplies to other first responders in the Louisville community during the crises.|
|Jennifer||Kidney dialysis tech||Long Island, NY||She hasn’t missed work during the pandemic and works long hours. She has remained very upbeat, great for her patients.|
|Will||Grocery Store Stocker||Dallas, TX||Will is our son. He’s 23 years old and on the autism spectrum. He stocks shelves at our local grocery store and hasn’t missed a day since the pandemic began. Although he was scared in the beginning, he said that people needed to get their food…so he had to be there because they needed him. He has a great, positive attitude and enthusiastically heads out the door each day armed with his mask and hand sanitizer. Will loves adventures and is a world class hiker and traveler. He plays Special Olympics basketball and is an Ambassador for Best Buddies.|
|Jody||ER Physician||Round Rock, TX||Jody has worked as an ER physician in a busy hospital throughout this pandemic, trying to juggle the responsibilities of being a frontline physician with being a mom of 3 energetic children! Despite the fear of treating Covid patients, she explained to her children why it was so important to go to work to help fight this horrible disease. She was so excited to learn about Austin adventures webinars, and our kids would look forward to Thursdays during the quarantine, and would report to Mom what they learned that day about Yellowstone, or Peru, or Utah…. She put her triathlon training aside to ensure our children were excelling in remote learning. She has used the quarantine to foster a love for the outdoors in our children with hikes, plant and flower identification expeditions, and bike riding adventures!|
|Jacqueline||trauma nurse||Camden, NJ||Being a trauma nurse in of itself takes a toll on Jacqueline as she sees the worse of the worse. Patients come in with gun shot wounds, car accidents, severed limbs, abused children, I could go on. Now add that these people could have COVID and now the sacrifice is both emotional and physical. Brave, passionate, dedicated, experienced, driven to excel. She knows her job and helps the patients, trains new nurses and is compassionate to help the families. After working 12 hour shifts, she then goes home to her husband and 3 children with the fear that she could be bringing COVID home. I would love it if Jacqueline and her family went on a trip together. They need it!|
|Casey||Teacher||Bethel, CT||Casey is an elementary school teacher and Life is Good self proclaimed ambassador. Teaching has been extremely challenging during the pandemic. She has worked hard to keep a smile on her face (under the mask) with her Zoomers and Roomers. Juggling life with her own students in school and on zoom along with her personal kids at home trying to learn is a big challenge. She also tries her best to continue to spread the Good Vibes to her fellow teachers. Over the pandemic she has delivered Life is Good shirts to help motivate many of her fellow teachers (and essential workers) who are feeling the struggle of these crazy times. Casey and her husband Ryan (who is also a teacher) use the summers to take their kids traveling with hopes to open their minds to the world outside their little small town. Due to covid they did not get to travel this summer. They did not realize how much they NEED to get out and travel. This would be an amazing opportunity to give them. Casey and her family are true Life is Good wanderers that continue to spread the Good Vibes during these crazy times. Choose this family to share your Good Vibes with!|
|Jennifer||Nurse||Dubuque, IA||She work’s 2 jobs and is studing her 4th degree In the nursing field with corhn’s. Disease from age 9|
|Kelly||Cardiac ICU nurse||Knoxville, TN||She has worked many overtime hours since April and has been in direct contact with many Covid patients. She has never complained nor shown fear for her own health. She has remained positive and encouraging and hasn’t shown others how tired and concerned she really has been.|
|Nyssa||Laboratory Technician||Miles City, MT||When covid Hit Nyssa was working at holy rosary hospital and was doing more than 200 swabs on some days of covid, sending and packaging them. Drawing blood from covid patients every morning, treating them in the ER. She volunteered for more hours, took the covid patients since she was younger than other techs. She kept the patients happy! She is great at her job!|
|Micah||Teacher||Miles City, MT||I found out she nominated me which is awesome but she deserves this more! She teaches P.E for three schools in this district and starting this year was told she might not get lunches due to staff shortage ans scheduling. she was also told she would be taking over P.E for the rest of the Miles city schools and online. Its been so stressful I don’t know how she does it! She is an inspiration and this district is lucky to have her! The way she is with the kids you wouldn’t even know there’s a pandemic!|
|Elizabeth||Medical Doctor||Chicago, IL||My daughter Elizabeth has wanted to go to medical school her whole life. She sacrificed many social activities on her way to her dream. She graduated from Creighton University in May 2020. The dream to see my daughter get her medical degree was now a brief video due to Covid and she had to move across the country by herself from AZ to Chicago because she was in AZ on a clinical rotation. Due to my asthma, I could not fly out to help her. She began her very first rotation as a medical resident in June in an ICU for Covid patients. She worked long days 7 days a week and took care of more than 30 patients at a time with Covid and watched many of them die. Earlier this month, she was dx with Covid-19 and has luckily recovered now. I could not go help take care of her and she had to be isolated from everyone during her illness. We had to mail her food and medicine. We had planned a trip with AA to celebrate her Medical School graduation that we were going to do before her residency and of course we had to cancel it. It has been a year of disappointment and challenge. Elizabeth has faced every challenge with strength and optimism although I know she was disappointed not to have us at her graduation. This trip would be a great way to celebrate her accomplishments and sacrifice.|
|Greg||Banker||Knoxville, TN||Being in the banking industry during Covid has been one of the most stressful and wearing times Greg has experienced. When the shut down began, people were so scared that he became a psychologist, mediator, advisor, counselor, verbal punching bag, educator, confidant, as well as many other new roles at his branch. The bank was not closed one day and he continues to work many long stressful hours since. He cares for his customers and tellers more than he cares for himself.|
|Suzanne||dietitian||Monterey, CA||Suzi is single living in Pacific Grove, her son age 26 has returned home since he lost his job due to the pandemic. She is hardworking and loves the outdoors. Working in a hospital is very stressful at this time and she would love a real vacation.|
|John||Occupational Therapist||Delray Beach, FL||John provides rehabilitation therapy in the in-patient unit at Delray Medical Center. John’s work environment has shifted significantly because of the Coronavirus pandemic, which in turn adds stress to staff, family, and patients. With visitation hours cut, John works tirelessly to fill the emotional void of family members that would typically be at the patient’s bedside. He likes adding mediums like music or art to therapy to benefit those he’s helping. Often, he will just talk with a patient about the his or her life history and story. John is a positive person and a true cheerleader for his patients.|
|Teresa||Nurse||Bremerton, WA||Teresa works in the respiratory unit at CHI Franciscan (Harrison). Since the start, even when numbers were spiking, she worked extra shifts to cover for sick co-workers. She always tries to find ways to bolster patients’ spirits while keeping them as safe as possible. All the while being a mom to her two children, one of whom is on the spectrum. She goes out of her way to alleviate their fears, help them with schoolwork, and prepares meals for the family each week. Oh, and she works nights. Hard work for daywalkers, even more so doing the night shift.|
|Mariah||Nurse||Baltimore, MD||Mariah is a nurse at Johns Hopkins. At the peak of the pandemic she was switched over to a COVID unit and worked tirelessly to help her patients. She’s also a passionate traveler. She’s getting married next year and this trip would be an amazing gift.|
|Christopher||Nurse Practitioner||Philadelphia, PA||My husband sacrifices every day for his family. He works in Cardiothoracic Surgery, but when COVID hit, it changed everything. He was temporarily reassigned to the COVID ICU in the health system that saw more patients than any other in Philadelphia. Working day in and day out to help those suffering the worst from this virus. At home, he has a special needs son and an 8yo daughter, who were both frightened for their father every day. Sacrifice is not new to our family, as he was deployed to Afghanistan in the US Army, when our son was born emergently. He was rushed home to care for me when I started to suffer from postpartum psychosis as well. He always puts the needs of his patients before his own, and his life’s desire is to see Yellowstone Park (and maybe fly fish in Montana) I am doing this because he would never ask to be nominated himself, much less take a vacation.|
|Cindy||ER Nurse Practioner||Madison, Florida||The pandemic, with all of its trials and tribulations is just one of the many things Cindy has endured over the last 2 years. She continually strives to provide the best care in an ER department that she can, while living in a camper because her home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Michael. Adding insult to injury, her husband broke his hip in the midst of rebuilding their home. However, throughout all of these challenges she goes to work and provides excellent care-despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, her personal circumstances, or any dilemma that presents itself; she perseveres!|
|Adam||Fire Fighter First Responder||Palatine, IL||Adam has been working all along during covid caring for people first hand. He should be most worthy of this trip because he just got married during covid and had to downsize his wedding to only 16 people and cancel his original plans for the big wedding. He deserves a fabulous honeymoon!|
|Mario||Engineer, Volunteer Firefighter||Suffolk, NY||“My husband is the most humble man, always giving of himself, and gives God the glory and praise for everything in life. While having a full time job, he has continually served in our community as a volunteer fireman for over 24 years, responding to fire, traffic and medical emergencies (Currently the chief in the department). All this, even after having cancer from volunteering at the World Trade Center rescue efforts. He is a strong man of God and our children and I are blessed to have him. Thank you.
|Alexandra||Physical Therapist||New Haven, CT||Alexandra worked tirelessly on Covid floors at Yale New Haven Hospital to ambulate Covid patients with the goal to get people home. She was dedicated to this goal because the default action was to send patients to a rehab center or nursing home that posed such great risk for them. The patients were alone without family and many elderly and scared. Alex gave each patient medical attention but also attention to their needs to connect with another person.|
|Jeff||Pediatric Emergency Room Physician: Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest||Springdale, AR||Jeff calms parents and treats sick/injured children. Covid-19 created more stress for them all. Jeff manages to reassure even through two layers of masks and eye protection. His smile shows in his eyes. PPE is rationed so he reuses his. Hours are longer and tempers shorter as only one person is allowed in per child. Despite his own fatigue, he fills extra shifts when colleagues are sick. He must be extra careful because my Mom who was diagnosed with cancer has moved in. The most painful sacrifice was postponing our 30th anniversary Austin Adventure trip.|
|Valerie||Master Massage Therapist||Rogers, AR||Valerie ministers to bodies and minds of cancer patients and their caregivers. Her strong hands, listening ears and kind heart help people release and process stress. Cancer is a devastating condition even without a global pandemic! She helps us through it. After being furloughed for six weeks, Valerie returned to work despite her own Covid risk factors. She must adhere to rigorous safety/cleanliness standards to keep her room and table safe so immunocompromised patients can relax. This means outside work too. She deserves a break herself. An Austin Adventure vacation with her family would be perfect.|
|Erica||Pediatrics Nurse, Hospital||Salisbury, MD||Erica never stops. She is a pediatric nurse in a busy hospital in a rural/tourist area. Not only must she take care of the extended stay pediatrics patients, she oftentimes gets slammed with pediatric emergency room patients as well. But she loves it all and goes about her job cheerfully, as she has a heart for giving. Not only is Erica a nurse but she’s also a full time homeschool mom of two fantastic kids who work well above their grade levels and excel in arts and sports. Erica also started a homeschool volunteer group. She finds monthly volunteer opportunities in Salisbury, coordinates with the homeschool families, and helps kids at the events. Her husband Donny is a nurse as well. When Covid hit, Erica could have taken some time off from nursing, surely, to prioritize her safety. But no! Helping her community was paramount. Erica also battles a condition with her eyes, requiring surgery to maintain her vision health. She’d never tell you that though! She’s a supermom, supernurse in the flesh!|
|Corinne||Nurse in ICU Department||Southampton, NY||During the height of the pandemic in New York State, Corinne worked long hours in the ICU of Southampton Hospital. Most days she worked 15 hour shifts six days a week. One of her patients was a neighbor of mine who eventually passed away from the virus. Corrine bought him pictures of his family and helped him to on face time with his wife and children. At the end of his life, Corrine was able to get permission for his wife (who had been a nurse) to be at his bedside when he passed. Her ability to not only perform her nursing duties but provide the care and personal connections for the families and patients is to be commended.|
|Katie||Registered Nurse||Atlanta, GA||ICU nurses are made of tough stuff. Care, compassion, not fainting at the sight of blood- they can do it all, for 12 hours at a time. Katie can do more than most. She and her husband, a physical therapist, recently adopted a second rescue pup. These newlyweds have a penchant for pitties and pilsners. 2020 brought a need for the latter- new house, reopened COVID unit, and 4 days later a lightning strike. Smokey house meant back to her dads’, hubby and dogs in tow. With the tenacity the ICU requires and a few cases of beer, Katie persevered!|