Emotional Surprises, Deserving Families

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Friday, December 18, 2020
Bringing Holiday Cheer to First Responders
Surprises are in store for the families of these first responders! We teamed up with the First Responders Children's Foundation and Ryan Seacrest to make their holiday dreams come true.

NEW YORK (LOCALISH) -- 2020 has been tough on first responders and their families. From COVID-19 to the unprecedented wildfires, nurses, paramedics, police officers, and EMS technicians have been working around the clock to keep us all safe and healthy. This year, Ryan Seacrest and Localish teamed up with the First Responders Children's foundation to find three deserving first responders and their families to surprise with some much-needed holiday cheer.

First, we meet Cessalea Moore, a nursing assistant from Cincinnati, Ohio who specializes in taking care of elderly patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. As the pandemic escalated, her floor was turned into a COVID department and she needed to quarantine away from her family just so that she could continue to work. As the pandemic worsened, her husband was laid off and she had to quit her job to care for her family. During the holidays, they're just worried about trying to make ends meet.

Next, we meet James Hopwood, a firefighter and EMT from San Jose. At the height of the pandemic, he was transporting some of the most critically ill COVID patients to the hospital he worked at, and so had to quarantine away from his family. But when the wildfires hit California, he put on his gear to help defend his state and his home from what would become the 3rd largest wildfire in California history. James, who has 7 children aging from 6 to 12 years old, was working 20-hour shifts and away from his family for weeks at a time.

Lastly, we meet Damaris Padilla, an EMT from Boston, Massachusetts who has been on the job for over 16 years. In mid-October, her oldest son tested positive for COVID-19 and one week later, her youngest son did as well. She has had to remain quarantined to take care of her family, which has taken a financial and emotional toll on them all. Despite this, her two sons are excited to follow in their mom's footsteps and both are studying to become nurses themselves.

Watch to see these stories and many more as we honor the true heroes of 2020 on this very special holiday episode of More in Common.

WATCH More in Common here

Thanks to Ryan Seacrest and the First Responders Children's Foundation.