COMMUNITY: 9-year-old Alex Ibarra raises $10,000 for local food bank

2020 - Alex Ibarra

The Quakes and Wells Fargo are humbled and inspired by the amazing work of our frontline communities and neighbors in this time of crisis. Each week, we’ll be featuring and highlighting the work of one fantastic neighborhood hero, showcasing the great work they are doing and the organizations our community can rally around.

Additionally, a donation will be made to an organization or community project on behalf of each week’s hero. This week we will be donating to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

When Alex Ibarra was five years old, he witnessed his classmate not having access to substantial meals at school. Since that day, Alex has been passionate about helping the hungry. 

Alex immediately began fundraising within his community and donating to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. 

The now 9-year-old, has been able to raise an average of $2,000 a year by reaching out to his friends, family and community. For the past four years, he has raised almost $10,000 for his local food bank. 

“If you don't have food or water, it will definitely be hard. I want to make sure everybody has a healthy life, and can have the good life you want and need,” says Alex. 

In addition to fundraising money to donate to the local food bank, Alex has hosted his birthday parties at the Alameda County Community Food Bank to raise awareness for this problem. On birthdays and holidays, Alex asks his community for money to donate to local food banks. 

“I’ve definitely received a lot of support from my friends and family,” says Alex. 

Alex encourages his community to join him in the cause, through raising awareness, raising funds, or volunteering to combat the local hunger issue. He has even written advocacy letters to authority figures to voice his passion for this cause. 

Because Alex is only nine years old, he has been limited on his ability to volunteer regularly. 

But at the end of this month, he will be having his 10th birthday. After his birthday, he can register officially as a volunteer at the food bank on a more consistent basis. 

“It’s important to me because they need more help than ever,  because people can't work and don't have money to get food,” says Alex. 

But Alex’s kindness does not stop there. Recently, Alex has been making fabric masks with his mom to sell at the food bank. He is using upcycled materials like outgrown clothing to make the masks with eco-consciousness. All of his proceeds are benefiting the food bank. 

Additionally, Alex was inspired by the garden at his house and began growing herbs to make essential oils. He planted peppermint, spearmint and lavender herbs, and recently began selling those, with all proceeds benefiting the food bank. 

When asked about the roots of his passion for helping others, Alex talked about his inspiration from current Quakes player Shea Salinas. Since Alex could walk, he has been playing soccer. He says the example set by Shea Salinas has strongly influenced his view on his role in the world when it comes to helping others.

“I’m inspired by Shea Salinas,” Alex says about his favorite midfielder. “He helps others and I want to be like him and help the community.”

To volunteer or donate to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, view their website here.