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#NeighborhoodHeroes: Local businesses finding ways to stay open and help the community

Heroes come in all shapes and forms and News Channel 3 wants to highlight anyone who is helping, in whatever way they can, during the coronavirus pandemic. With the help of its hero customers, Pastry Swan Bakery has found a way to keep their doors open and employees working, all while using customer donations to distribute plant-based food to frontline workers in the Coachella Valley.

Deborah Quinn is the owner of Pastry Swan Bakery. She said, "We would love to be able to donate food right now but because we are upside down it’s not a possibility." She added, "We were just hitting our wedding season which is March, April, and May for the desert. So the amount of cancellations for those brides and grooms has been, for us, horrendous, as well as for them I'm sure." Instead, they are helping in the way they can. They have distributed meals to Eisenhower hospital three times and the Palm Desert Sheriff's station once.

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Shannon Bush is the chef at Pastry Swan Bakery. Each meal is $12, which customers will pay along with what they order at the bakery. Quinn said, "Sometimes they may just pick up something small and say add the $12 on for the meal and then we add those up until we get 10 meals." Once they have at least ten meals in total, they are ready to make a delivery. Bush came up with this idea for their bakery. She said she got the idea from artist Billie Eilish and her mother doing a very similar project in the Los Angeles area. Bush calls the project at the bakery, the CV Healthy Heroes Initiative. She said, "Plant-based food is one of the best ways to boost your immune system and keep yourself healthy."

Quinn and Bush said they are partnering with Chef Tanya in Palm Springs who also is a plant-based chef. They are dividing and conquering the valley. Chef Tanya covers the Palm Springs area and hospital, while Quinn and Bush take care of Rancho Mirage and over through the valley.

Deborah shared with us that the city of Rancho Mirage has also been a huge help in keeping their business afloat. She said, "We were able to get some funds from the city to catch that payroll so that our employees weren’t hurting. Which for us is number one as well, we want to make sure the employees are taken care of." The help from the city has also allowed them to deliver other meals to people in need through the community. Quinn said, "The thankfulness when they go to the doors and deliver this food. You just don’t realize how many people out there who really need help. And hopefully, we can do a little bit to get that out the door to them as well." They are thankful for the help of the city but also for the community as a whole. Quinn emphasized, "If it wasn’t for our community, I don’t think we would be open right now. Especially trying to make it through the summer. So just this last month has been a day-to-day type of a deal." Bush added, "It’s a win-win situation. It helps businesses who are struggling and it also really helps those people on the front lines stay healthy."

News Channel 3's Taban Sharifi will have the full story tonight at 6 p.m.

Celebrating #NeighborhoodHeroes

While the coronavirus crisis is keeping us apart, we know the Coachella Valley community is still coming together to help each other. We are looking for those who are lending a hand during this uncertain time. Do you know of any everyday people who are going out of their way to help others? Have you seen someone find creative solutions to the new challenges we all face?

News Channel 3 wants to celebrate these neighborhood heroes. Tell us about them here. Enter HERE or email If you see good happening on social media, share it with us, and tag it #neighborhoodheroes for us to see.

We are all in this together. Help us showcase the good that's happening right here in the Coachella Valley.

Kaiser recommends that those in the Coachella Valley who are elderly and have underlying health conditions, including individuals who are HIV positive, limit non-essential travel and avoid large public gatherings.

Health officials said anyone who thinks they might be experiencing symptoms of the virus and want to be seen at Eisenhower Health should call the hospital hotline first at 760-837-8988. Avoid the spread of this illness.
Residents with further questions can call 2-1-1 and 800–CDC –INFO (800 – 232 – 4636) with any questions.

Public health recommendations for all Riverside County residents during community spread:

Practice social distancing, which is remaining out of places where people meet or gather and avoid using public transportation, if possible.
Do not attend work, school or events when sick. Stay home.
Cough into your elbow or tissue.
Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer often.
Stay away from anyone who is sick.

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Taban Sharifi

Taban Sharifi is a Meteorologist and Reporter with KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News & Weather Leader. Learn more about Taban here.


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