USD Graduate Student and Student International Business Council Advisor Brittany Kirk Organizes Fundraiser to Feed Medical Workers

Friday, April 24, 2020

Thank you note to Brittany Kirk from medical facility, Stanford Court
begin quoteWe are going through a collective traumatic experience and we need to support one another where we can and let frontline responders know how much we appreciate their sacrifice.

Brittany Kirk is a Torero through and through, having completed her undergraduate degree at the University of San Diego and returned to pursue her master’s degree in social innovation. At the University of San Diego School of Business, we know her as advisor of our Student International Business Council. She is also competing in this year’s Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge where she will be pitching her business idea, Sunlight U, an online subscription-based website focused on healing from sexual trauma.

Kirk is also the founder and executive director of Sunlight Retreats for Survivors of Rape, a nonprofit social enterprise that helps survivors through retreats based on the science of trauma. After hearing about long, stressful days from some of the retreat’s members who are healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, Kirk wanted to find a way to support them. 

“I was so upset after speaking to my friend and Sunlight team member, Michelle, while she was on break from her job as a code nurse. She had been intubating COVID-19 patients and was eating a protein bar at 2 p.m. for lunch,” says Kirk. 

“I have seen her exhausted at the end of the day on Zoom meetups for survivors, as she alternates schedules with her husband, also an ICU nurse, so that they expose each other less to the virus. We can and should be doing better for our frontline responders and I know many are working on getting them meals. Though first, you should check and see if they can accept deliveries as I had a team member who could not accept food in Colorado.”

Initially, Kirk wanted to donate several meals to her team members who are nurses, but her idea blossomed into a fundraiser that became much more than that.

“I was planning on just ordering $100 worth of food for my friend but wished it could be more,” says Kirk. “So I asked my Facebook friends for help and in two days we raised $960.”

Kirk’s fundraiser led to meals being donated from Which Wich to Michelle and her coworkers at a hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Meals from Rubio’s were also donated to another Sunlight member and her team at a skilled nursing facility in San Diego. 

“This may be a small gesture but it shows our appreciation for our frontline responders,” says Kirk. “We are going through a collective traumatic experience and we need to support one another where we can and let frontline responders know how much we appreciate their sacrifice. It’s also important to note that these nurses are survivors themselves. And survivors can also be heroes and helpers, shining their light in a crisis.” 

Brittany would like to thank the following donors: Linda L. Katz, Maureen A Kirk, Larry Kirk, Rob Mullally, Diana Varco, Amanda Cross, Lori May, Lindsay McGowan, Kimberly Davis Solo, Tori Smallwood, Todd Little, Michael Sisois, Janey Jennings, Katherine Pennick, Gina Sinatro Mitchell, Tami Ritter, Brian Kirk, Kirstie Pfeifer, Susan Cunningham, Donna M., and our amazing nurses, Michelle Sines and Team 2 member, Michelle!

Contact:

Gabrielle Horta
ghorta@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4468