Come behind the scenes and meet the people who make the organization run! August's featured staff member is Rocio Gonzalez, Refugee Resettlement Manager.
1. What’s your favorite thing about working at SFBFS?
My favorite thing about SFBFS is the feeling that we are all part of a family and that we are all working above and beyond, towards the same goal of serving others.
2. What does a typical workday at SFBFS look like for you?
I manage Refugee Resettlement Services. I am responsible for administrative oversight, such as submitting records and reports, meeting deadlines and ensuring compliance and building community partnerships. There are so many things that we do in Refugee Resettlement Services. They vary from day to day, but some of the things I find most interesting and gratifying are preparing to fully furnish an apartment for an arriving refugee family, coordinating volunteers to pick up food staples and driving out to the airport to meet and greet our newly arrived families, which usually happens late at night! Afterwards, my team and I drive them to their newly furnished home and provide them with a hot meal. Within 24 hours of arrival, our department makes a home visit to check on their well-being, then we are off and running as we help our families start a new life.
3. What inspires you in supporting the SFBFS mission and culture?
I love my job! I love the staff and the families I work with. It brings so much joy and gratification to my professional and personal life. I find a lot of inspiration from feedback shared by our partners and colleagues. They often tell us that our refugee families mention how they are very appreciative of our work, and consider our team to be part of their extended family. The relationships we cultivate with our families are reflective of our mission and culture at SFBFS. Nothing inspires me more than seeing the smiles on the faces of children when they first walk into their new homes and see all of their cool toys donated by their welcoming community!
4. What is your favorite pastime?
I love reading books because they transport me to another world. My favorite author is Isabel Allende. I also have quite a green thumb. Gardening is something I really enjoy. I love spending time watching my grandchildren play in my backyard because they find my garden to be welcoming, magical and worth exploring.
5. What is your favorite fruit or veggie and why?
I love strawberries because I can make agua de fresa, which is so refreshing to drink in the summertime.