Maria Flores, Volunteer Extraordinaire. When I first came to live in the US I was 8 years old. Every summer until I turned 18 I would go visit my grandparents in Mexico for almost the three months I was on summer vacation and during that time I would go with my grandmother to the church to pick up food and distribute it to the needy. I learned from my grandmother that it's better to give than to receive.
When I was growing up I used to live a block away from where CFC is now located - at 74th and Avenue E - and when I lived there CFC did not exist. My family moved away but I had good memories of the area. I first found out about CFC through ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company as a volunteer with my work group during one of the Friday food fairs. I got a good feeling about doing something that made an impact in someone's life and in an area I was familiar with. Again, I realized it was better to give than to receive. I volunteered many times with ExxonMobil and when I retired in 2013, I decided I wanted to spend some of my time getting more good feelings by volunteering during the Friday food fairs.
I see the impact that CFC makes in the lives of people. They come for many reasons to get help - they might need food, they want to learn English, they want to learn to use the computer, they want to give their children a good education by sending them to the Montessori school, etc., etc. - and I want to keep getting those good feelings by helping them to get what they need, be it food, an education, or any other kind of help.
Over the past 21 months I've become more involved with CFC. I not only help at the Friday food fair, but I also help to input donor information into a database and also recruit more people to care about CFC and all the good it stands for.
I am also the chair of the Family Support Services and worked alongside Paty Morales to start the East End Pantry Coalition (EEPC) to help other food pantries in the area to better serve the needs of the communities where they're located. Paty has been a great leader and teacher and it has been easy to work with her; her drive and enthusiasm are very catching. As long as my health holds up, I will continue to volunteer.I am also teaching my two grandsons (aged 8 and 18) to appreciate being of service to others by bringing them to CFC and helping at the Friday food fairs. I'm hoping to be the same kind of mentor to them that my grandmother was to me.
Jennifer Vasquez is a junior at University of Houston Downtown, studying social work. When she was a child, she used to come to CFC with her father and uncle to receive food. Jennifer came back to volunteer at CFC because she was grateful for the support her family received. She remembered how much food she saw during the Friday Food Fairs and wondered if that impression was true for other people besides herself. By working as a volunteer at the Food Pantry, she is able to witness firsthand the gratitude of the people who come here, which is evident in their smiling faces. She has also learned that indeed other people have the same impression of awe that she had as a child.
BROADWAY ST BEAUTIFICATION
Appreciation goes out to the students and their families from Mr. Mohle and Mr. Lambson class for an outstanding accomplishment. Over 400 trees and shrubs provided by Trees for Houston were planted on February 9th by our students and other volunteers from several agencies within the area. Broadway St. Beautification could not of been successful without the volunteer’s time and effort.
SODEXO JOB FAIR
“I would like thank the Sodexo team and the Community Family Center (CFC) for making yesterday’s job fair a success one. Over 200 job seekers expressed interest in working forSodexo.
In the coming weeks we will be interviewing with applicants from the event and working to bring new talent on board.
Thanks again for all your hard work and we look forward to working with the CFC in the future. “
Talent Acquisition Manager, USA