Leadership will always present its challenges. Leadership during COVID 19, when you are still in your twenties trying to establish yourself, your goals, and dreams? There is a mountain to climb.
That is the mountain that Community Through Hope (CTH) leadership blaze through every day, under the direction of CTH Founder and Executive Rosy Vasquez who has made space for a younger group of leaders to tackle various obstacles facing the community over the last year. Vasquez has always believed that any member of the community can be a part of the solution and she herself is a piece of a much larger puzzle. She assembled a multiracial coalition who in their own words will tell you what it has been to feed 345,161 unique individuals, translating into 69,032 families, all while distributing over 5,554,300 lbs. of nutrition. CTH and the COMMUNITY (both on site and out in the community) logged over 60,000 volunteer hours. Of all unique individual touches, 38,800 were seniors.
Hear from the CTH team in their own words:
“Don’t be satisfied with the work you just did. Be satisfied with the effort that you put in to do that work”.-Cody Croft, Warehouse team, Age 16.
“My time working at CTH has been a great experience. As I have learned a lot about the services we provide to our community. More than anything believing in the strength and unity of our CTH team and the abilities of each individual working towards improving our communities”. Itzell Mendoza, Receptionist, age 18.
“Seeing people up close, facing food insecurity, is difficult. It hurts me to see people in such need but it also motivates me to work harder to serve my community”-Natalie Najera, Program Assistant, age 24.
“I believe in being direct and honest as a leader but because of the work that we do, working with people during their toughest times, I try to find the levity in what we do as well.”-Isabella Martinez, Program Assistant, age 25.
“Being a young leader as a man is hard, but being a young leader as a black man is harder. Learning to not flinch during hardship is rewarding when you see the impact you have on people’s lives. Lead with love and the universe will openly accept you!”-Deion Williams, Director of Programs, age 26.
“Hope is as tangible as it is accessible. Accessibility is key. Everything at CTH is client centric with intention. Hand up not hand out. The intention behind who is there to help you at CTH and what they are there to help you with is all about feeling in the gaps. We call what we do with the unsheltered “gap services” because hope isn’t just on the other side of filling those gaps but hope is created in the act of filling those gaps both for the clients and the CTH team”.-Sebastian Martinez, Development Director, age 26.
“This pandemic enables me to grow on a personal level. I realized that serving and helping others gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. I learn to be more empathetic and compassionate. I want to make a difference to the community and helping others makes me happy”. -Elijahmay Azucena, Administrative Lead/Unsheltered Services Coordinator, age 39.
Executive Director Rosy Vasquez shared “I am inspired everyday by this” youthful but mighty” team that has dedicated themselves to helping the underserved in our community. During the first weeks of the pandemic, our general volunteer cadre was impacted tremendously and we wanted to keep our senior volunteers safe .I was so grateful to the young volunteers who stepped up. They are now leading the charge against food insecurity and the unsheltered crisis on behalf of all of us.”
Community Through Hope’s mission is to foster hope for a better life for those facing food insecurity and for those without a permanent home by providing a hand up through innovative and compassionate programs with equality, dignity and respect.
To learn more about Community Through Hope and ways you can support, please visit www.communitythroughhope.org.