Stories of hope

Volunteer Appreciation

The Circle of Hope

Lupe Gomez distinctly remembers what it was like to receive the gift of food as a kid.

One of eight siblings, growing up in the 80s, Lupe told us a story about when his elementary school had a food drive.

He remembers telling his mom about it and asking her if he could take a can of corn or a can of beans to the food drive.

“She opened the cupboard, and there wasn’t much in there,” Lupe shared. “But she gave me a can of corn.”

Lupe took that can of corn to his school for the food drive and gave it away for children in need.

“A week later, this big truck comes to my house with food for us,” Lupe shared. “I gave a can and I got boxes of food. It just came right back to me, and it was just amazing, but I don’t know what happened.”

Now, almost 40 years later, Lupe understands why he received those boxes of food, and it motivates him to volunteer at Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) almost every week.

“I volunteer two hours at a time, but I could be here for three days. It feels amazing and it just makes you want to get involved more,” Lupe said.

Lupe volunteers with his wife, Julie, and they plan to bring their grandkids in the future.

“I felt a sense of peace knowing that what we are doing here is special and I tell everyone about it,” Julie said, describing her first time volunteering at CHF only a few months ago. “Everyone here was just so welcoming, loving, and caring. It was great!” 

Lupe and Julia, who own a business together, also plan to bring their employees and are encouraging their friends to come and volunteer.

“I think most of us want to help, but it’s always taking that first step to do it. So, the fact that we did it, people that we know are like ‘let us know when you’re going next. We want to go.’ So, it’s impacting them just by us showing up here and really enjoying this place,” Lupe said.

Reflecting on the gift of food he had received as a kid, Lupe shared: “Hope—it’s everything.”

Even though he didn’t understand where that gift of food first came from, now, looking back, he understands. “The heavenly Father was looking out for us.”

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