A Hero Among Us
photo credit: Lisa Hu Chen
You might know her, have heard of her, or maybe you’ve seen her on the field, but chances are you don’t know what she was up to this summer!
We are bursting with pride to learn about one of our very own soccer moms, Keri O’Melveny from Harrison’s B05 and G08 teams.
Keri (known as Mrs. O) works for IUSD’s Nutrition Services at Woodbury Elementary School in Irvine, where she creates and feeds nutritious meals to hundreds of kids daily. When the pandemic hit, Keri and a dream team from IUSD’s Nutrition Services department, went from cafeteria workers to heroes! Together they united and prepared and served breakfast and lunch to over 3,000 students a day, 3 times a week! Keri felt it was “more important than ever to help others,” even choosing to do so on her Birthday! She shared with us that some of the families that drove up appeared to be having a difficult time. “I could see the sadness in the kid’s eyes,” Keri recalled. So, she made the decision “to make their meal delivery pick up the best part of their day” by serving up loads of air hugs, words of encouragement to both parents and kids, and BIG smiles (under her mask), along with their free grab and go meals.
Keri’s community service didn’t stop there! She took home leftover food and created FUN, simple, and healthy recipes to share with her community via Instagram (@woodburyiusdcafeteria), and encouraged others to share their ideas and recipes as well. Keri says Instagram is a great platform to share her important message that “proper nutrition is fundamental to happiness and a healthy immune system. Environment is everything. If you make it FUN, they will be more inclined to try healthy foods.”
Deservedly so, Keri has been recognized by others; This Detailed Life, a professional photography magazine, shared Keri’s story “She is My Hero” in their premier issue titled “The Quarantine Edition.” This. Our Story (@thisourstory) featured Keri on Mother’s Day celebrating motherhood and her quest to do good, and local popular radio station, “Go Country 105” gave her a shout out, a thank you, and a “big virtual hug” as well!
From ALL of us at LFCIA SoCal, THANK YOU KERI for living the “Liverpool Way” and choosing to make a huge difference in our community! You are a true inspiration and example of how giving back impacts so many!