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Community brings special surprise to first responders and patients fighting COVID-19

Community brings special surprise to first responders
Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 01:37:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Community members continue rallying behind those they say are giving the most during this time.

“Thank you for keeping us safe. We appreciate you so much” is just one of many notes written in cards given to first responders at Banner Medical Center.

Fabian Vega tells KGUN9 kids from his soccer and futsal training company wrote for first responders.

Vega is the owner of Ballers Elite.

“We have about 80 families to 100 families in our program and a lot of them are front liners,” said Vega.

So they wanted to give back to first responders and patients as they fight COVID-19.

“We’re out out here thinking about them and we’re out here praying for them and being a support system for them,” he added.

However, Vega didn’t do this alone.

He called Thomas Browne, whose kids are a part of Ballers Elite. He is also one of the owners of Empire Pizza & Pub.

So when he heard about Vega’s plan, he jumped on board and tossed in 16 pizzas to help feed first responders.

“It’s just, we appreciate what they’re doing. They’re in a high risk situation and we have to rely on them in times of need. Hopefully this makes their day a little bit better,” said Browne.

Walter Sanchez, a pro-staff coach at FC Tucson Youth Soccer Club, also had kids in his program write some cards, make bracelets, and decorate rocks.

“It’s our responsibility to be able to give back to the community that we so desperately love,” Sanchez told KGUN9.

It is a partnership that formed through the love of a game: soccer.

A love that helped them reach their goal of giving back to those giving the most during this time.

“The fact that they’re willing to put themselves in those positions to help others...they’re true heroes,” added Sanchez.

After all was said and done, Browne said it felt good to be able to give back to those on the front lines.

“It’s nice to actually be able to show them that you appreciate them,” said Browne.

Meantime Vega says, he cannot put into words the feelings he got when he handed off the pizzas, cards, and gifts to first responders at Banner.

“A profound thank you and appreciation each and every day and for us, prayers go out to all of you guys,” Vega told KGUN9.

Vega says this good deed is the start of many. He says he is going to try to bring take-out to first responders, at least once a month until this is all over.

He hopes that by doing this, he will be able to help both front-liners and local businesses.