Last Friday, at our 32nd Annual Tree of Life Ceremony to commemorate World AIDS Day, we had the honor of giving two awards in recognition of outstanding individuals who have been crucial in supporting the continued work of Mama’s Kitchen. This heartfelt celebration allowed us to recognize some remarkable volunteers whose commitment has been the foundation of Mama’s Kitchen’s mission for many years. Every year since 2021, we have presented two awards:

The Red Ribbon Award recognizes long-time Mama’s Kitchen volunteers whose efforts significantly impacted the mission of Mama’s Kitchen in supporting people living with AIDS.

The Humanitarian Award recognizes members of the community who have undertaken significant commitment and dedication in response to the AIDS epidemic in San Diego.

Monica and Cyril Reinicke were the recipients of this year’s Red Ribbon award, a tribute to their nearly 20 years of incredible service to Mama’s Kitchen! Their journey began in 2005 when Monica responded to a call from a high school friend requesting help to deliver meals. What started as a singular route eventually transitioned into a partnership with Cyril, continuing to deliver meals to those in critical need. To this day, they have amassed a combined 4,350 hours of selfless service. Monica and Cyril’s consistent dedication has been instrumental in serving our community, making an invaluable difference in the lives of those they’ve touched.

We were also honored to recognize the Stech family – Summer and Brad, along with their three sons, London, Renzo, and Savion, who all received the prestigious Humanitarian Award. Their journey with Mama’s Kitchen began in 2000 with Summer volunteering, before she was ever married to Brad. In 2002 they were married and as the Stech family grew, the tradition of delivering meals continued to grow as well. We consider ourselves lucky that for over two decades, the Stech family has shared their time, love, and compassion while delivering meals throughout City Heights. Their dedication and genuine care for others have made a profound impact, fostering connections and friendships within our client community.

These extraordinary awardees epitomize the spirit of compassion, selflessness, and dedication that embodies Mama’s Kitchen. Their commitment to serving the community, exemplified through years of service, stands as a testament to the spirit of giving back and making a difference. We extend our deepest gratitude to Monica, Cyril, Summer, Brad, London, Renzo, and Savion for their tremendous contributions, unwavering support, and continued dedication to our mission. Through their service, they have not only nourished bodies but also uplifted spirits that needed it the most.