Each month, a volunteer at SFBFS is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month’s volunteer spotlight is:
Alec Gonzales - January 2015
16-year-old Alec Gonzales has been a volunteer in Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS)’ Clothing program for the last 4 years. Born and raised in Elk Grove, Alec first heard about SFBFS by participating in Run to Feed the Hungry with his mother and grandmother. He started volunteering in the Food and Clothing programs during SFBFS’ monthly VolunTEEN nights and has been volunteering weekly in Clothing for the last 2 years.
A student at Christian Brothers High School, Alec says that he started volunteering on a regular basis because it feels good to help people who are less fortunate than you. “I like helping others,” he says. “When I started volunteering here, I told everyone to donate to SFBFS. Here, the clothes are distributed to people who really need it.”
On a typical day, Alec helps greet, train and supervise volunteers, as well as check clients in and enter data. “I used to just volunteer for school,” says Alec. “Now I would still do it even if I didn’t have to.” To date, Alec has logged 200 volunteer hours at SFBFS, but he is working towards 400 in hopes of achieving the National Congressional Award, a non-partisan, voluntary and non-competitive program that is open to all 14 to 23 year olds in the United States.
SFBFS’ Clothing Program Manager, Tasha Bryant, marvels at Alec’s dedication. “Alec is a superstar,” she beams. “He is very creative and always coming up with new ideas for better efficiency. He takes so much pride in his service here - he is like a part of the Clothing program. He is serious about his role and sometimes even helps keep me in check. He is really into it, and really puts thought into what’s happening here.” Over the summer, Alec volunteered bi-weekly and made several suggestions about storage and distributing logistics that were immediately implemented. “That’s one of the things I love about volunteering at SFBFS,” says Alec “My ideas are valued here.”
In the Clothing program, Alec has the opportunity to experience a diverse social work setting. “When I think about volunteering here,” he recalls. “I remember one month when a lady came in and I helped her get business attire. When I saw her the next month she had gotten the job!” After high school, Alec plans on going to college to become and Engineer.
When we asked Alec why he thinks it is important to volunteer, he replied, “Even though you don’t think it makes a big difference, you could impact someone’s life in a major way by volunteering. And I think, in many ways, volunteering is more fulfilling than working for a paycheck.”
Want to get involved in SFBFS’ Clothing program? Visit the Clothing page for more info about the clients we serve, donating clothes, and becoming a Clothing volunteer.
Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights: