Submitted by Valeria Lopez, Community Health Educator
Although we changed our classes to virtual and remain in constant interaction with our community, we do not get to have short conversations with participants after class as we would in-person. However, it was this week that I received a call from Jose, one of the 250 seniors on our check-in list. I had been calling Jose throughout the week because we had his care package ready for pick up. When I spoke to him, I explained that his bag was ready, to which he replied that his situation had changed.
You see, when COVID-19 began and we started making calls, Jose was one of the seniors in desperate need of help. He was frustrated because he had lost his job and he was almost running out of savings. He had not received the stimulus check and he had other things going on. We would call him on a weekly basis trying to see how we could help and provide different resources that could help him get what he needed. We also had the opportunity to send him a free food box provided by our friends at Leto Catering.
After each call he would always express his appreciation for the small things done to help him. Although he was going through a hard time, he always kept a good attitude and showed the determination to be ok.
During this last call Jose explained that his situation had changed because he was moving to California. He said that he found a better job opportunity and that he was in the process of moving there with his family. He told me that he would not need the care packages anymore and suggested to offer it to someone else in need. Jose expressed that he was very grateful with those calls, saying that he had never been in that situation before and that he did not know who to rely on.
“You did not know me, and yet you took your time to help me. Nobody does that, not even my daughter would do that at times… Each time after you would call me, I would feel supported and relieved. You gave me faith, strength and spirit.”
I must confess that those words almost brought me to tears. Being part of Esperança is really a blessing. I had never been part of a job where the mission, vision, and main goals were based on educating, connecting with people, providing hope, and doing good things to help others. Esperança represents hope and brings faith not just to those who we support, but to those who run it as well. There is nothing more gratifying that being part of this.