National Volunteer Month: Buckner families give back to their community

Each volunteer at Buckner is an important piece of our ministries and this month we are celebrating National Volunteer Month by highlighting some of our wonderful volunteers throughout the state. 

For over five years, the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas has been a source of strength and encouragement for local families, offering assistance and coaching to help families reach self-sustainability. Now, those same families are giving back to their own community by volunteering, showing their neighbors the same strength and encouragement the Family Hope Center has offered them. 

More than 10 women who have attended classes and received assistance from the Family Hope Center volunteered at a shoe distribution at their local high school, washing the feet of more than 300 students and fitting them with a new pair of shoes.

“There’s no way I’m every going to be able to repay how much Buckner has helped me and my family, so it’s a way of giving back,” said Nancy Sauceda. 

Nancy and her husband Javier Garcia Ibarra started coming to the Family Hope Center four years ago. In that time, they have attended classes offered by the Family Hope Center, were involved in the coaching program and also received a home built by Buckner Domestic Missions. The Family Hope Center, Nancy said, offered her family hope during a dark time. Now she wants to do the same for her neighbors. 

“It makes me feel good to know I’m helping my community,” she said. “And I like the feeling of being able to help beyond being a wife and a mom.” 

This is the first time so many families involved with the Family Hope Center have volunteered on this scale, though the idea of aiding their neighbors in times of need was seen last year when some of the men from the Family Hope Center’s fatherhood class offered to help build the home of one of their fellow classmates after the mission team had to pull out due to illness. 

“These families have worked hard to strengthen themselves by learning new skills, becoming better parents and developing strong relationships,” said Rebecca Estevanes, director of the Family Hope Center in Peñitas. “Volunteering and giving back to their community is one of the key components we teach at the Family Hope Center. While it’s still a new concept for the families here, we are starting to see them rise up during times of need because they want to help others in the same way they have been helped. It’s inspiring to us and our community to see them take that leadership role.” 

To find out how to help a family in your community, visit our Volunteer Central to discover all the opportunities available in your area. 

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