Chances are that if you have visited MEND’s Center, you have seen Vicente Rendon catering to clients’ needs. When he first visited the Center, he did not know the impact the organization would have on his life. “MEND has completely changed my life and for that I am extremely grateful.”
The father of four was first introduced to MEND in 2011 by his case manager. In order to continue receiving CalWORKs and Cash Assistance he was required to complete volunteer hours and was referred to MEND. “When I first started with MEND I dismissed this place. I didn’t know MEND and the impact it has on the community. I attended a volunteer orientation back in December of 2011 and it changed me.”
A year after his first encounter with MEND, Vicente was forced to leave his job due to serious health complications. He began to dedicate his time at MEND and he found a new satisfaction with his life. “After years with no job, MEND became my training ground. I was now a greeter, a parking attendant, a driver. I trained in customer service. In the past I’d only been a driver and for a very short time a salesman. But training at MEND has been indispensable.”
While being unemployed, Vicente also took advantage of the services here at MEND. He received food and clothing for his family and received glasses from MEND’s Eye Care Clinic. The services provided have immensely helped but more than anything he enjoyed giving back, especially during MEND’s annual Christmas Basket program. Now, Vicente celebrates a new chapter of his life. He has recently received employment with Warner Brothers Studios as a Valet Attendant.
“I’m excited for this opportunity! When I was forced to leave my job years ago, my life stopped. It was difficult to be unemployed and have four children to care for. I could no longer provide for them but this job will hopefully be a new beginning. After pressing pause for long time I can now press play on my life again.”
Even with newly found employment Vicente is still committed to his volunteer responsibilities. He hopes to be able to find time in his schedule before or after work to continue giving people a helping hand. “Individuals walk in to this building completely hopeless but once they leave they are hopeful. Whatever their situation is, they’ve finally found a way out. MEND does that.”