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  • Madi Peterson

Supporting local bravery & local business

It’s crazy to think that just over three months ago many of us were sitting in rush hour traffic on our way to the office, dropping off the kids at school or even grabbing brunch with friends. We are all adjusting to the “new normal” of staying safe-at-home—working from home, teaching our kids, wearing masks on our afternoon walks, and the endless Zoom happy hours that help keep us sane.

At Pragmatic, we can easily protect ourselves and our families by staying in, but not everyone has that. That got us thinking – what could we do to help?

Pragmatic wanted to help in a way that would really impact the community—you could say we wanted to help “direct to consumer.” We came up with the idea of feeding healthcare workers at a local hospital.

And then the lightbulb went off

If we focused on Long Beach, CA, we could raise money to provide meals to hospital healthcare workers and support a small business that’s near and dear to us: The Crooked Duck restaurant in Long Beach, CA.

The solution hit especially close to home for me because The Crooked Duck is owned and operated by my parents, Joey and Shelley Rooney. Since 2011, The Crooked Duck has been a Long Beach staple serving an award-winning breakfast, lunch and dinner. But as a family-owned business, Covid-19 posed a huge threat to revenue, causing my parents to struggle to keep their doors open.

Just across town lies Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, the flagship hospital of the MemorialCare Health System that’s served our community for over 100 years. Long Beach Memorial is recognized as a major regional provider of medical and surgical services. And better yet, it’s where I gave birth to my daughter last October.

We had our “who,” but still needed the “how”

Using our agile agency framework, we were able to think quickly and creatively. We got a fundraiser up and running within hours—taking it from idea to execution—and started raising money on our GoFundMe page.

We set a goal of raising $5,000 – and Pragmatic pledged to match donations up to that $5,000 to broaden our impact. Every $15 raised provided 1 meal for a frontline worker. A few social media posts later, we hit our goal and kept on going. Within days, we had over $10,000 toward meals for healthcare workers at Long Beach Memorial Hospital – and toward my family’s business.

So The Crooked Duck got cooking!

As a Long Beach native, I felt fortunate to be able to help hand-deliver the meals. Our first delivery was on April 29, when we delivered 100 individually packed meals.

Another 300 meals were delivered the following week, and another 300 the week after that.

To date, we have delivered 700 meals to our healthcare heroes at LB memorial serving the ER, Covid-19 Purple Zones, NICU, operating room floor, and the adult recovery unit.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who donated.

The team at Pragmatic—and especially myself—are extremely grateful for your generosity in supporting this endeavor.


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