Local businesses bring donations to Kishwaukee Hospital


Courtesy Kimberly Zepeda

Kishwaukee Hospital President Jay Anderson (from left), Kate's Place owner Kate Huftalin and Wired Nutrition owner Kimberly Zepeda during one of the deliveries of shakes to Kishwaukee Hospital.

Parker Otto, Senior Reporter

DeKALB — Two local businesses in DeKalb and Sycamore have committed themselves to helping nurses at Kishwaukee Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic with Operation Fuel Our Community.

Wired Nutrition, 830 W. Lincoln Highway, and Kate’s Place, 114 S. California St., Sycamore, two healthy eating establishments, have developed a program which allows customers to donate one shake or boosted tea to nurses for every drink purchased at the two locations.

The idea began when Wired Nutrition owner Kimberly Zepeda and Kate’s Place owner Kate Huftalin messaged each other over Facebook to find a way to help the nursing staff at Kishwaukee Hospital, 1 Kish Hospital Drive, Zepeda said.

People can donate these drinks and also add a message to go along with it to the nursing staff, Zepeda said.

When the donations build up, the teas and shakes are delivered to Kishwaukee Hospital. The pair began collecting donations March 19, and were able to make deliveries March 20 and 23. Their next donation date has yet to be determined.

“[The first trip] was extremely successful,” Zepeda said. “We had a total of 75 shakes the first time. Kate [Huftalin] had more shakes to deliver after that Friday, so she delivered the remaining shakes the following Monday.”

Zepeda hopes the program will help the community during this uncertain time.

“When something like [the COVID-19 pandemic] happens, people want to help but just don’t know how,” Zepeda said. “We’ve set up something to help the community.”

For future deliveries, Wired Nutrition and Kate’s Place will be working separately, but both establishments are still taking donations. Donations can be made by buying a tea or shake or directly donating with cash or to the store’s PayPal account, according to the Facebook pages of Kate’s Place and Wired Nutrition.

If donations are large enough, Wired Nutrition plans to take teas and shakes not just to nurses, but also firefighters and ambulance drivers as well as donating money to a local grocery store to help local business, Zepeda said.

Both stores are open with regular hours. However, they are only giving items to customers via curbside pick-ups or takeout orders. To find out what current flavors both stores have, Zepeda and Huftalin make posts daily on their stores’ Facebook pages.