Volunteer News

Volunteer of the Month – Joanna Del Campo

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Joanna Del Campo found MEND eight months ago and has not left since! She volunteers daily in the intake and shower programs inputting client data and working directly with MEND clients. Her fellow volunteers appreciate her “forever smile” and hardworking attitude. MEND clients, in turn, comment positively on Joanna’s energy and compassion. “Joanna gets things done at MEND. A volunteer with such dedication and passion helps the organization fulfill its mission” says her supervisor, Gabby Olea, MEND’s Client Intake Coordinator.

Congrats Joanna on your “Volunteer of the Month” award!

Lynda Winters – Volunteer of the Month


“The Grow Together Program connects MEND clients with one another and helps to develop skills and self-sufficiency” says Lynda Winter, this month’s Volunteer of the Month.

For the past eight months, Lynda has volunteered with MEND’s Grow Together Program focusing mainly on the program’s new initiative, La Colectiva. Initiated by Adam Brooks, the Grow Together Program VISTA, La Colectiva is a group of families who receive supplemental training on market gardening, an extra supply of plants and support in order to sell their produce and market their product. Lynda has designed program materials for the initiative, in particular, La Colectiva graphics and box design. She also lends her skills to data entry, research, mailing assembly and other miscellaneous tasks.

Adam describes Lynda as having a “strong character and loving heart.” Her ability to act as a sounding board and regular contributor to the work of the overall Grow Together Program has earned her respect from MEND staff and volunteers alike.

Sandra Sandoval – Volunteer of the Month

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Sandra Sandoval has been a part of the MEND volunteer community for the past seven months. She came to MEND as a volunteer looking not only to give back but to improve her job skills. Shortly after her arrival, she was placed in MEND’s Computer Lab. She volunteers about 30 hours a week in the lab performing various tasks such as client support, computer teacher/substitute, data entry, office receptionist, registration/enrollment event lead, outreach and volunteer trainer. Essentially, she helps out where needed.

In her off time, MEND is not far away from Sandra’s mind. She is known to distribute event flyers to community members and referring individuals who need help. Rubicela Ochoa, MEND’s Computer Lab Coordinator, describes Sandra as a quick learner, highly motivated, loyal and dependable. Computer Lab students also sing high praises of Sandra. They recognize her passion for the community when teaching.

For Sandra, she is grateful for her continued service at MEND. “The volunteer training I receive here at MEND has expanded my knowledge to succeed in my future career” she concludes.

Veronica Rodriguez – Volunteer of the Month

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Veronica Rodriguez joined the MEND volunteer workforce almost a year and a half ago. Since then, she has been an invaluable member of the Welcome Center volunteers. Veronica was referred to MEND by the GAIN (Greater Avenues and Independence) program, a County work program, for job training opportunities. Among her duties at the Welcome Center include a receptionist at the front desk, lobby attendant, assisting the parking lot attendant, and even helping in the KinderCare.

Veronica volunteers at MEND about 30 hours a week and when she is not at MEND, she volunteers at her church distributing food. Veronica is described by her supervisor, Wilson Herrera, as a “hardworking and respectful person.” He adds, “she is always ready to help!”

A Star Of Our Own

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“Dedicated.  A pleasure to work with. Smart. Intelligent” are all words used to describe our Volunteer of the Month.

Yasmin Serrato, came to MEND approximately 6 years ago as an undergraduate student. She began volunteering in our Client Intake Department where she interacted with clients on a regular basis. She was so impressed with the organization’s volunteer workforce that she decided to become a long term volunteer.

Shortly after, Yasmin joined the Gala Committee which plans MEND’s biggest fundraiser of the year – an Academy Award viewing party. Yasmin took charge of the red carpet activities amongst other duties such as soliciting silent auction items, data entry and the “Predict the Winner” ballot voting process.

“I have volunteered at many organizations and MEND is one of the most well organized and very welcoming when it comes to working with volunteers,” states Yasmin.

In 2015, Yasmin took on a leadership role within the committee as co-chair. Her leadership this year helped yield a successful event. Her dedication, passion and intelligence have garnered her praise and admiration from her fellow volunteers and MEND staff.

“I have been so welcomed by MEND that over the years, our gala team has grown to feel like family. We have an amazing team that is very talented and supportive of each other. It is an honor to work with them.”