Billy Nguyen has only been volunteering at St. Rose Hospital for a few months, but his constant smile and infectious enthusiasm has quickly made him one of the most beloved figures at the Hayward facility. So when St. Rose Teamsters 856 Members Lauren Jang and Veronica Meraz dreamed up a plan to surprise the special needs student with Warriors’ playoff tickets last month, it didn’t take much to get the whole hospital on board.
“Billy brings all of us so much joy, and he’s a huge Warriors fan, so we thought it would be great if we could send him to a game,” explained Jang.
Once news of the plan got out, things moved quickly.
“We came up with the idea on a Monday, by Wednesday we secured the tickets, and on that Friday we had raised a nice amount to cover the tickets and more,” said Meraz.
Word spread outside the hospital too, and local businesses, and hospital vendors, and even television station KTVU contributed to the cause. Nguyen’s fellow volunteers, Mikey and Michael also received gifts from the employees of c.d.s and movie tickets.
Nguyen attended the game with his dad and describes his experience at the “Roaracle” as “amazing”, even making it on the Jumbotron.
Meraz said that through the collection, she met so many St. Rose employees whom she had seen around the hospital, but had never gotten a chance to connect with.
“Billy really brings people together,” Meraz said.
Jang agrees. “We’re even more like family now, this has been a real morale booster for everyone,” she said.
Strength in numbers indeed.
KTVU was there to capture the moment Billy found out he was going to see his favorite team in the playoffs, and the video went viral, with more than 13,000 “likes” on Facebook. Click here to check out the feel good moment.