Two years ago, Irene stood in front of the guests at the inaugural Grateful Table dinner to share her story. With baby Suehay on her hip, she talked about her life being turned upside down. Earlier that year, she had to unexpectedly care for her newborn niece who was born drug-exposed. Irene, a mother of three grown children and restaurant manger, suddenly found herself as a new mom all over again.
Daycare, medical bills, a crib, formula, and clothes, all added up quickly. Irene, a restaurant manager, was trying to make it all work. Fortunately, Restaurants Care had just launched and was ready to make its first grant.
When Irene received a grant from Restaurants Care she had $1.50 in her bank account.
Fast forward two years, and Irene once again spoke at The Grateful Table dinner. This time, she announced that she officially adopted baby Suehay and recently purchased a house!
At the first Grateful Table Dinner, Irene met the executive team from Sysco Los Angeles. Today, she is Marketing Associate for the company! In a fateful twist, the grant Irene received was actually funded by an initial donation from Sysco Los Angeles. Bryan Allred, then President of Sysco Los Angeles, was instrumental in establishing the Restaurants Care fund.
And baby Suehay? She’s a firecracker! She’s tall for her age and thinks anyone smaller than her is a “baby”. She wants a pet turtle and is always on the move!
We all face bumps in the road. Restaurants Care is here to help our community get through difficult times with dignity. We hope you’re as moved by Irene’s story as we are.
Help us say “yes” to each grant request! By making a donation of any size, you are providing a safety net to our restaurant families. We are tremendously grateful to our Grateful Table sponsors: Sysco Los Angeles, the OC Fair & Event Center, FreshPoint Southern California, Visit California, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., and Coca-Cola.
Irene and Suehay at The Grateful Table 2017
Irene and Suehay at The Grateful Table 2019
Irene signing adoption papers for Suehay in 2019!