Nearly a half a million people in the United States have severe kidney failure and are on dialysis.* Our KNX Helpful Honda Hero of the Week is providing better days for some of those most vulnerable patients!
When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, food insecurity became a major concern. Shops were closing down, and people with health issues were limited on where they could get groceries, while staying safe. So, 28 year-old Esmeralda Blanco of began collecting food and hygiene products, to help those most in need: elderly dialysis patients. It quickly grew into an organization named after her grandmother.
"A year before the pandemic, I lost my grandmother, who was on dialysis," recalls Esmeralda. "I just thought about the dialysis people, and I knew I had to do something for them."
"I made a Facebook post. I asked my friends to donate. And, then people started to hear our story. Even the patients, they started telling their friends, and people started reaching out." The non-profit is called Grandma Luisa's Gift, and over the past year, they have delivered thousands of bags!
"We do one dialysis center, which is fifty patients. We also deliver to an additional 100 patients," explains the aspiring medical student.
Grandma Luisa's Gift is like a warm blanket, needed by many who are often alone during treatment and isolated during the pandemic.
"The hygiene bags come with hand sanitizer, masks, Band-Aids, alcohol. Things that they can use during their treatment, [like] lotion. Sometimes we give blankets. And, then we also do groceries! So, we give eggs [and] a lot of fruits that have anti-oxidants, because they are often limited on what foods they can eat. We put [in] some Cream of Wheat, bread, cereal. A lot of snacks, too."
"I'm currently working at a dialysis center," adds Esmeralda, "and a lot of the patients... come from low-income neighborhoods. They don't really have anybody to sit with them during the treatment, and give them food. So, that's why we provide snacks that they can take, because when they get out they are usually hungry."
Esmeralda Blanco of Los Angeles is sharing love and support in a big way, and she is our KNX Hero of the Week!
"When I work with these patients, it’s as if I am seeing my grandma," Esmeralda says, lovingly. "So, I feel like a little piece of her is here, through them!"
KNX Heroes is brought to you by California Resources Corporation, saluting our military veterans, and all of our heroes! Go to https://www.crc.com/ for more information.
Find out what your Helpful SoCal Honda Dealers are up to by heading to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SoCalHondaDealers/
Grandma Luisa's Gift is growing, and needing volunteers!
If you know someone who is inspirational, motivational, life changing or life-saving, nominate them as a future KNX hero at https://www.audacy.com/knx1070/nominate
* - Data taken from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidneys Diseases