Police raise funds for S.F. girl who died of meningitis

Officers, unions gather more than $2,000 to help cover funeral costs for fifth-grader

Following the death of a San Francisco fifth-grader of bacterial meningitis Monday, San Francisco police officers and their unions have raised more than $2,000 to help pay for her funeral.

Officer Nelson Ramos of the Southern Station spearheaded the campaign to raise money for the family of 11-year-old Evelyn Cortes-Covarrubios after seeing a picture of her on a television news broadcast Tuesday. “They had a photo of the girl, who looks a lot like his daughter when she was that age," Sgt. Marina Chacon said, also of Southern Station. “He approached me literally in tears and said, ‘Sarge, can we do something?’”

Evelyn, the second-youngest of four siblings, began to feel ill while at Tenderloin Community Elementary School on Friday, but didn’t tell anyone. Her parents took her to a hospital over the weekend, and she died Monday.

Since news of Evelyn’s death came out Tuesday, individual officers, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, the Latino Peace Officers Association and the Asian Peace Officers Association have contributed more than $2,200 to pay for Evelyn’s funeral expenses.

“Officer Ramos has personally walked up to every officer he sees and not one officer has said no. Every officer has donated something,” Chacon said Thursday. “It’ll give a relief to the parents to concentrate on their grieving and not the cost.”

“We were genuinely moved by their generosity and their compassion for a family that’s not even in the district that they represent,” Tenderloin Community Elementary School Principal Herb Packer said Thursday.

Chacon said Evelyn and her family were very religious. She said Evelyn gathered her change together every Sunday to buy flowers, which she would then place at the feet of a statue of the Virgin de Guadalupe at St. Boniface Church before praying.

Evelyn had two older brothers in their late teens or 20s, as well as one younger sister, who is also in the fifth grade, Chacon said. She was close with her family; one of her brothers would walk her to school every day, and she spent much of her time at school with her sister, Packer said.

Evelyn’s father came by the school to drop off a picture of her Thursday. Packer described him as “inconsolable.”

Packer said he and school staff plan to create an award in Evelyn’s name, to be given to an outstanding fifth-grader each year. Staff members are also donating money for Evelyn’s funeral expenses, Packer said.

Evelyn’s funeral will cost about $2,500, Chacon said. Anyone interested in donating can mail a donation to Chacon or Ramos at Southern Police Station, 850 Bryant St., San Francisco, 94103. Chacon and Ramos can be reached by telephone at the Southern Station at (415) 553-1373.

amartin@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren’t sold. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters; iStock; CA High Speed Rail Authority; Shae Hammond for CalMatters)
Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?

By Marissa Garcia CalMatters High-speed rail was supposed to connect California’s urban… Continue reading

Cooks work in the kitchen at The Vault Garden. (Courtesy Hardy Wilson)
Help wanted: SF restaurants are struggling to staff up

Some small businesses have to ‘sweeten the pot’ when hiring workers

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda during a March 2021 press conference. (Credit Ed Reed/EdSource)
How California plans to deter costly special education disputes

Fund is meant to help parents and schools settle differences before heading to court

Hundreds of Britney Spears fans and supporters rallied in support of ending her 13-years-long conservatorship and the removal of her father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator, at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse on July 14, 2021. (Photo by Ted Soqui, SIPA USA via AP Images)
The Britney effect: How California is grappling with conservatorship

By Jocelyn Wiener CalMatters However improbable, this has become the summer we… Continue reading

District Attorney Chesa Boudin is launching an investigation into whether Chinatown merchants have been targeted as victims of possibly illegitimate lawsuits. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)
DA launches investigation of potential fraud targeting Chinatown merchants

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it is launching an… Continue reading

Most Read