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 Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
When Francesca Alvarado heard about an opportunity to deliver groceries to older community members, she got involved immediately. Francesca was one of the first staff members at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to get on board with the new project.
Usually, Francesca works in the after school program with CCSCC. The program is a K-8 program that focuses on improving academic achievement through literacy and homework support. But once the pandemic hit, she was out of work.
Francesca was not sure what she was going to do for work when she received a phone call. Her manager from the after school program wanted to start a new initiative that would deliver food to the elderly who have been exposed to COVID or are self-quarantining.
In just one month, Francesca and her team managed to deliver over 300 grocery items to the elderly in self-isolation and quarantine, and traveled over 1,520 miles throughout Santa Clara County.
“It’s a crazy situation because the pandemic has hurt so many people and caused a lot of heartache. But recently, it’s given me so much joy,” says Francesca.
The joy that came along with helping others was something that impacted other areas of Francesca’s life as well. Being a part of this team has brought Francesca much closer with other CCSCC staff that she otherwise wouldn’t have worked closely with.
Two of these people in particular are So’o and Sabry. They were able to establish a balanced and effective team while growing in friendship at the same time. The optimism and joy of the delivery teams made the activity something to look forward to.
Over time, the team has gotten more effective in their approach to doing routes as quickly and practically as possible. Towards the beginning of the program, delivering 60 grocery items used to be an impressive feat. Now, they are delivering 300 in a single day regularly.
Although COVID has created a variety of obstacles for many, the spirit of giving back and spreading kindness has helped Francesca see the pandemic in a new light.
After greeting and helping the same clients on a regular basis, relationships with these community members have inevitably grown over time. When Francesca and her team deliver groceries, they are greeted with smiles and gratitude, and are often reminded that their acts of kindness spread joy in a challenging time.
Without the help of Francesca and her team, many community members would be struggling to receive a basic necessity, food to eat.
“This program has helped me just as much as I’ve helped with it,” says Francesca.
With a strong team of organizers and great support from volunteers, the grocery delivery program has helped lessen the stress of the pandemic, and turn it into an opportunity for joy.
“It makes me feel good to know others are happy. It lets me know one more person is happy in the world, and that could change everything in the community and around the world.,” she says.