Here is my story.
Back in 1980 my husband Bob Rodriguez and I opened our community food pantry and clothes and furniture give away to help people in need. Our food pantry has been opened for over 40 years. My family and I help 100's of residents each month from the Southeast Side of Chicago and Northwest Indiana that need help with food, clothing, furniture, and household items. The number greatly increases in the winter months especially during the holidays. We give out thanksgiving dinner food baskets to over 150 people every year with the help of the United Steelworkers and St. Jane De Chantal Church. Since my husband's passing in 2002, I have continued our family tradition of serving the poor with the help of my children.
I began my volunteerism at my children's schools St George and Our Lady of Guadalupe. At one time, I was the Parent Club President at St. George. From there, I went on to work handing out government cheese and food with Senator Dawson primarily to help the hundreds of workers from the mills that lost their jobs in the 80’s.
I went on to volunteer my time as a Board Member of the Wellspring Shelter - I helped bring valuable resources to abused women in the community.
Growing up with very limited hearing I knew what it was like to be a kid with a disability so I’ve always looked out for children with special needs. As a little girl, I defied all odds and thrived in school especially reading. I’m still an avid reader - my favorite being historical fiction and crime stories. As a kid, my mother was my biggest advocate and in turn I also advocated for kids with special needs. I have been a volunteer for the CCD class at Our Lady Of Guadalupe for 46 years - I primarily focus my teaching on the kids who are diverse learners and need extra attention.
For 37 years I have been a Board Member for the Chicago Family Health center. Given my experience helping people overcome poverty I lend valuable insight on how to meet the needs of some of the most impacted in our communities.
So here we are now - it's difficult for me to be on this end of things. Fixing my roof will be a great benefit to me and my family but also to the people that I serve in my community. Without my roof I will not be able to keep my food pantry open to help those in need.
Any little bit will be a great help.
Thank you and God Bless.
- Chris Gonzales
- Claudia Sandoval
- FROI NUNEZ
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