Each month, a volunteer at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month's volunteer spotlight is:

Jacinto - November 2016

For the past four years, Jacinto, age 59, retired and an avid jogger, has participated in Run to Feed the Hungry, the largest fundraiser for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) every Thanksgiving Day. In 2014, Jacinto’s involvement at SFBFS increased when he began volunteering at food distributions with his son, to help him fulfill a school requirement. After learning more about SFBFS’ many services, Jacinto was connected to SFBFS’ Immigration Legal Services. When he heard about the free and low-cost services offered to the immigrant community, he knew he wanted to help out. “As a Spanish speaking Mexican-American, I knew I could use my knowledge and skills to help the clients that come in, as a majority of clients are Spanish speakers.” Jacinto has helped on a weekly basis since March and is a welcome addition to SFBFS’ Immigration Legal Services (ILS) team.

On a typical day, Jacinto can be found at the reception desk in ILS, saying hello and offering a warm smile to everyone that walks through the door. He helps with anything that needs to be done around the office, “from fixing staplers to answering the phone,” he laughs. He helps assemble informational packets for the workshops offered by ILS, helps to review and file documents, explains the services offered by ILS, answers clients’ questions, assists as a translator, keeps the office organized and more. In addition to the practical help he lends, Jacinto is also known to bring in flowers and fruit from his garden to share with his coworkers, brightening the office and bringing joy to those around him.

Jacinto’s professional background includes work as a psychotherapist for Sacramento County and college counselor for Los Rios Community Colleges. Because of his interest in working with youth, Jacinto has also volunteered with SFBFS’ Youth Education program. Over the summer, Jacinto lead a class for the youth about happiness, teaching them that finding one’s passion can bring you true happiness, not a temporary type of happiness one might get from new clothes or a new phone. For Jacinto, that passion is volunteer service. “I am now seeing and feeling the benefits of a long-term volunteer commitment,” he says. “I have absolutely no doubt that it’s made me feel happier.”

ILS staff member Elvira Daza agrees, saying, “Jacinto can find the happy side of any task he is involved in. He is always willing to help and never says no!” When he’s not happily volunteering at SFBFS, Jacinto keeps busy by doing the grocery shopping and cooking for his family, gardening, tending to his many fruit trees and enjoying his wife, three sons and one grandchild. 

Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights:

2014
December 2014 - Raina Graves
November 2014 - Anna Guzavety
September 2014 - Lisa Wolfman
August 2014 - Edie Blackshire
July 2014 - Marcella Ramirez
June 2014 - Christine Trillo
May 2014 - Michelle Garcia
April 2014 - Linda Von Schoech
March 2014 - Rosalie Ferguson
February 2014 - Kimberly Swenson
January 2014 - Nana Djunga

2016
November 2016 - Jacinto
October 2016 - Cristo Rey student interns
September 2016 - Laurie Owens
August 2016 - Karen O'Hara
July 2016 - Teresa Suter
June 2016 - Jennifer Tillman
May 2016 - Ms. Joyce
May 2016 - Dan Decious
April 2016 - Pat,Judy, Steve & Ted
March 2016 - Gloria Clark
February 2016 - Sydney Donnell
January 2016 - Sarah Cheung

2015
December 2015 - Hattie Lagrimas
November 2015 - Chariss Fong
October 2015 - Bette Simpson
September 2015 - The Green Family
August 2015 - Katie Price
July 2015 - Ric Burwell
June 2015 - Eugene Asampong-Oduro
April 2015 - Makoto Hawkins
March 2015 - Dustin Richardson
February 2015 - Teri Weesner
January 2015 - Alec Gonzales