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Palm Desert alumni create childcare service for medical workers during pandemic

A group of former Palm Desert student athletes found themselves home from college a little earlier than expected due to the coronavirus pandemic. That's when they created COVID Child Care - a free child care service for healthcare workers.

"A lot of people need help because of the virus and to just be able to step in and provide any kind of service for the people in our local community is so great, it's such a great feeling because there are definitely people who are caught in the lurch right now and we just want to be able to help those people who live in our hometown," said Dessa Keuilian, former Palm Desert soccer and track athlete.

The non-profit group recruits volunteers and matches them with families in need. What started here in the Coachella Valley has now spread to Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Seattle and soon-to-be Reno.

"We started to reach out to our friends in college saying like, 'Oh, hey, can you, would you maybe be interested in spreading this to Los Angeles or to Orange County,' and they said, 'yeah, sure, why not?' And then from there we basically got our friends from college, mutual friends, and we expanded that way," said Emon Shaaf, former Palm Desert tennis player.

The 2018 grads said that the lessons they learned as student athletes helped prepare them for this.

"Even when things seem really daunting and it seems like a big task, I know we can break things down together and we can each work on it. So just having the ability to work on a team, is so helpful for a project like this," Keuilian said.

"We all are part of one unit, each unit, you know, we're part of the Coachella Valley and we all want to help each other. We're one big family, one big team, and we're here to attain one common goal and that's to keep everyone safe and healthy," Shaaf said.

If you are interested in being a volunteer for COVID Child Care or are a healthcare worker in need of service, visit the non-profit's website for more information.

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.


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