We Build Strength, Stability and Self-Reliance Through Shelter
Each September, National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.
As an organization who is known for showing up after disaster strikes. As a nonprofit who helps families find safety in homeownership. As a group who builds safety, stability and self-reliance through shelter, we think this month is important!
Nobody wants to think about what will happen when a major event strikes their community. An emergency can happen at any moment. Just like we prepare our future homeowners through homebuyer education – we want to help you – our loyal supporters be ready.
To reduce the stress in the event of a major disaster, it is advised to have a plan, and be prepared with safety kits.
Start with identifying what type of disasters are most likely to occur in your area. For example, if you live in a fire hazard, flood zone or for most people living in California, the dreaded earthquake. Once you know what could come your way, have a family meeting explaining what to do when an emergency arises.
For children, it is especially important for them to know what to do if they can’t get to you. One situation where this could occur is a house fire. Review fire safety procedures, show children the safest exit out of the home, and identify a safe place (like a neighbors house) to meet other family members. Make sure everyone knows how to turn off the electricity, gas and the water.
The government has an Emergency Alert System that people can sign up for to be notified when there is an emergency in their area. You can sign up here https://www.ready.gov/alerts.
This month is a great time to build an emergency kit. Start with items you may already have in your home, like a flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, copies of important documents, water, non-perishable food and extra money. When you go to the grocery store, pick up an extra item that you use regularly. Community food banks are a potential resource for food-insecure families to stock their emergency supply kits. Also consider battery-free supplies, like wind-up flashlights and weather radios, and it’s also a good idea to have an external phone charger at the ready in case of a power outage. Consider making an extra emergency kit for your car. Include additional items such as a pair of athletic shoes, and blankets.
Store important documents and information in a safe place. Items like passports, birth certificates, maps and electronics should be put in a secure location and in a container that is fire and waterproof. Store important documents like insurance policies digitally. Make sure you put important phone numbers somewhere besides your cell phone.
Verify your home is fully insured for the disaster risks in your area. Talk to your insurance agent to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage. If you are a renter, look into “renter’s insurance” that covers lost liability of your property. Even if the landlord holds home insurance, it does not cover the renter’s personal property. Depending on the policy, renter’s insurance can cover the cost of replacing belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics as well as additional costs that the tenant could occur, such as hotel bills if the residence is damaged or has to be evacuated.
If you are on medication that is life sustaining, talk to your doctor about how to keep extra required dosages on hand in case you are away from your home and unable to access your medication in a timely manner.
For more information on creating your family’s preparedness plan, visit resources in your community such as your local fire department and Red Cross center. You can also visit https://www.fema.gov to access more preparedness information.
We are LUCKY for People Like You
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by thanking our loyal donors, partners, volunteers, supporters, and shoppers
On St. Patrick’s Day, we want you to know how lucky we are for people like you (our Habitat heroes). When we work together, we offer hard-working families the opportunity to create a healthier and more vibrant future.
Whether you donate, partner, volunteer, advocate, or shop at our ReStores, you can make a tangible impact that will last for generations.
Here are a few reasons why your generosity matters so much to our mission to end the affordable housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley:
- In fiscal year 2021, you donated over $3.6 million to build and repair more homes. Read more on our 2021 Gratitude Report.
- You helped us launch our three-year, $28 million campaign to help 100 families here, and abroad, build or repair their very own place to call home. Learn more.
- 6.450 total individual, youth, and corporate volunteer hours were put in at our ReStores and construction sites
- 200+ tons of goods were diverted from landfills through ReStore donations
- 40,886 customers shopped at our ReStore and all the proceeds went back to helping our mission
- And much more!
The housing crisis is ongoing. 2021 is proof, with your support, positive impact can be made in the fight to solve it. Every donation, every volunteer hour, every purchase at the ReStore, every advocacy effort – contributes to helping families live and remain in a safe, decent, and affordable home.
Recognizing Inspiring Women
As stated in The White House proclamation, “Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to honor the generations of trailblazing women and girls who have built our Nation, shaped our progress, and strengthened our character as a people.” San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat) will celebrate this month by encouraging supporters to nominate an inspiring woman as part of their upcoming Women Build event.
Since 1991, Women Build has brought women and their allies together to raise funds, recruit their friends and build homes side-by-side with those in need of affordable housing. To date, the Women Build event has helped house families in Glendale, Pasadena, Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, Monrovia, and throughout the San Gabriel Valley through volunteering, donations, and advocacy.
Our goal with Women Build is to empower women to help families build strength, stability and independence. We at Habitat have the ability to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and given these tools, women can succeed in changing their communities.
To honor Women’s History Month, SGV Habitat is encouraging supporters to share a story about an inspiring woman in your life through our website (https://sgvhabitat.org/unsung-shero/) before May 6. Or, fill out the form below!
Who's Your Unsung #SHEro?Who has pushed you to achieve the impossible? Who has supported you through challenging times? Share her story with us below to be featured on our social media and blog. Fill out the form below by Friday, May 6, 2022, to be considered.
For more information SGV Habitat Women Build 2022, visit https://sgvhabitat.org/get-involved/womenbuild/
The Impact of a Community Like Builders’ Club
Learn why our Builders’ Club members give monthly to make a difference all year round
When like-minded givers come together to support affordable housing with their monthly donation, a community is born. The Builders’ Club community is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley region.
Thank you to our Builders’ Club members who have committed to make a difference all year round. You’ve put your name alongside other members who believe affordable housing should be available for everyone.
You know with every monthly donation you are:
- Helping us build and repair more homes
- Altering the trajectory of families’ lives
- Improving the health and wellness of families
- Doubling the chances of family members attending college
- And more!
Meet some current Builders’ Club members and learn why they give monthly.
Donor Feature: Nick
“As a SoCal resident, I can’t imagine living through COVID in an overcrowded, overpriced, and unsafe apartment. Donating $10 every month seems like a small sacrifice if it allows a family to experience the safety and security of becoming homeowners. I am proud to be a member of Builders’ Club!” – Nick
Donor Feature: Kathyjo
“I am honored to be a member of the Builders’ Club. To work alongside and also be a member teaches my family the importance of giving back. As a family, we annually pick a cause to donate to knowing how fortunate we are to see the results locally in our community. During the current state of affairs we are currently experiencing, we feel helping others and giving back is the right thing to do.” – Kathyjo
Donor Feature: Anthony
“I am honored to partner with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. The work that this organization does in our community is instrumental. The Builders’ Club is a tangible way for me to show my ongoing support. I am grateful for all those working with this organization, for their dedication to the enduring mission of making affordable housing a reality for all of our brothers and sisters in the San Gabriel Valley.” – Anthony
Donor Feature: Tammy
“My monthly donation as a Builders’ Club member is the equivalent of skipping one monthly dinner delivery and it helps families to become homeowners. I’m happy to be a Builders’ Club member!” -Tammy
Donor Feature: Lucy
“Donating to families that have the opportunity to receive homes locally is such a blessing to me. I was taught as a small child to give to others and lend a helping hand is a gift from God. It was an easy choice for me to make a monthly commitment to become a Builders’ Club member. I hope by sharing this example, it will encourage other young members to do so as well.” – Lucy
Donor Feature: Scarlet and Bella
“As a family we collectively pick a nonprofit to donate to. I personally see people that do not have homes and families that do without. When I found out SGV Habitat provides homes for families locally, I knew that supporting our community was the right thing to do.” – Scarlet
“I donate to SGV Habitat because I like to help children and families. I was so excited to learn that Habitat provides homes for local families, it made my choice to give very easily.” – Bella
This month, we are looking to add more loyal supporters to the club during our 2022 Winter Membership Drive.
By joining the Builders’ Club during the month of February (depending on your monthly contribution), you can also receive exclusive SGV Habitat branded items, such as a reusable shopping bag, coffee cup or t-shirt! Become a Builders’ Club member with your monthly gift today.
Your Impact in the First Year of the Expanding the American Dream Campaign
In 2021, you (our partners, donors, supporters, and volunteers) provided homeownership opportunities and critical home repairs to 27 families in the San Gabriel Valley and abroad. This directly impacts the Expanding the American Dream campaign’s goal of transforming the lives of 100 families by 2023.
- 6 homeownership opportunities provided to local families
- 11 critical home repairs for low-income homeowners
- 10 homes built internationally
This could not have been achieved without you. To fund this $28 million campaign, we rely on you (providers and preservers of the American Dream), ReStore purchases and donations, state grants, and mortgage proceeds. This campaign is 100% donor dependent. It is only possible through your generous support year after year. Thank You!
The Expanding the American Dream campaign is going into its second year in 2022. This campaign is calling attention to the need for affordable housing and raising funds to help families achieve their dreams of homeownership. Running through 2023, it highlights the importance of community and the significant role a safe home plays in helping families thrive.
“Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of affordable homeownership opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley” says Bryan Wong, Executive Director at SGV Habitat for Humanity. “The need for affordable housing in the area is overwhelming. We aim to make the world a place where all can afford to live—both first-time homebuyers and long-time residents.”
How You Can Help:
Celebrating Habitat History of Hand-Up Model in Honor of MLK Day of Service
The story of Habitat for Humanity began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar, Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to the equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating opportunity for all.
A Rich History
Built on the idea of partnership housing and born from that vision, we have grown into a global organization driven by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As part of this effort, in 1990, a small group of dedicated volunteers with a desire to eliminate substandard housing in our community founded San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat). The overwhelming need for housing in our communities has provided SGV Habitat for Humanity with a unique opportunity to change lives in our neighborhoods. In 2021, we made the commitment to serving the housing needs of 100 families over the next three years through the Expanding the American Dream campaign.
Known for our “hand-up, not a handout” model, Habitat for Humanity homeowners work side-by-side with volunteers and skilled staff to build safe, decent and affordable housing. In addition to new homeownership programs, the organization offers critical home repair services to address safety, accessibility, and deferred maintenance issues to assist low-income homeowners to ensure they can continue to live in a safe and decent home for years to come.
Homeowner Continues to Impact Her Community
Duarte homeowner, Billie Shaw, was a recent recipient of this program. For 5 years Shaw has been distributing food from a local food bank to homeless encampments in the San Gabriel Valley. While seeking resources to assist the individuals she was feeding she came across Habitat for Humanity, not knowing the blessing we would provide would be for her.
A few years ago, Shaw’s roof was blown off during a strong windstorm. Without the funds to replace it she suffered from years of water damage, eventually causing portions of the plaster ceilings to collapse. She applied to the critical home repair program and not only was Habitat able to help her put on a new roof, we also painted the house. As part of the repair program Shaw provided a payment she could afford and completed several hours of “sweat-equity” giving back to the organization in the form of volunteer hours. Even though she’s completed her sweat equity she continues to serve the SGV Habitat by spreading the word about our programs and nearby resale store, the ReStore.
“I just can’t believe this blessing I have received,” said Shaw. “They finished my roof and the next day a huge rainstorm came in. I finally saw the rain outside, but not inside my house. Now I plan to pass it on by telling everyone I can about Habitat for Humanity.”
Shaw, who served as a nurse at Santa Teresita until the hospital closed and then pursued a career in law enforcement, eventually retiring from the Baldwin Park force, has always been called to serve others. It’s partners like her who embody the essence of Habitat for Humanity’s mission.
How You Can Help
This coming Monday the US will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which under the King Holiday and Service Act, was transformed into a day dedicated to volunteer service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. It is the only federal holiday observed as a National Day of Service – a “day on, not a day off.” It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. Problems like affordable housing. On this day we celebrate people like Billie Shaw who gives unto others, even when she needs assistance. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.
- Advocate for affordable housing for everyone and read how we continue to build a “Beloved Community”
- Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing
- Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homes initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs
- Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets
- Donate now to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond
Photo credits: Stephen F. Somerstein—Getty Images
Multi-Home Dedication Ceremony
Thank you for joining us at the first-ever virtual multi-home dedication! Donors and volunteers like you have helped families for over 30 years! Your support means that four more families can now live out their own American Dreams! This ceremony celebrates four homes in Baldwin Park, Monterey Park, and Pasadena, respectively, that you have made possible. Join homeowners Kimberly, Tamer, Mai, and E’Tiffany (in spirit), as we officially commemorate the start of their homeownership journey.
Part I: Introduction
Executive Director Bryan Wong and Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development welcome you to the Multi-Home Dedication.
Special thanks to our Habitat heroes:
- The Ahmanson Foundation, Grifols, Jacque Wright, The Bank of America Foundation, Southern California Edison, Union Bank Foundation, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Warren J. Thomas, Tim Barber LTD., Pasadena Methodist Foundation, John Jones, Pacific Premier Bank, Travelers Insurance, De Nova Community Fund, Eleanor Grossman, Compton Youth Build, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Margaret Jansen and Cheryl Bode, anonymous donors and many, many others
Part II: Invocation – Julianna Jaynes
Per Habitat tradition, Donor Care Coordinator, Julianna Jaynes, says a few words and officially opens the dedication in prayer.
Part III: Baldwin Park Mayor, Emmanuel Estrada
Our next speaker is Baldwin Park Mayor Emmanuel Estrada. Mayor Estrada is a champion and key partner for affordable housing and homeownership in Baldwin Park.
Part IV: Homeowner Question and Answer Session
Sara Smola, Managing Editor of Pasadena Magazine, helps us learn more about our new Habitat homeowners, Mai, Tamer, and Kimberly.
Part V: Passing of the Keys – Kimberly
There are many partners who help make a project like this possible. One of these partners is Grifols. They have been instrumental in creating more affordable housing throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Karen Glenn, Grifols’ Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs gives the keys to Habitat Homeowner, Kimberly.
Part VI: Passing of the Keys – Tamer
Another housing champion with us today is our generous donor, Margaret Jensen. Like many of our donors, she is dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent and safe place to call home. And while, according to her, she can’t go out and build, she can sure throw money at our mission! Thanks to Margaret and donors just like you, Tamer and his family are now on their way to their own American Dream.
Part VII: Passing of the Keys – Mai
Another guest joining us today is Cheryl Bode. A very generous donor, Cheryl represents the hundreds of people just like her committed to ending the housing crisis through their generosity. Watch as she hands the keys to Mai, one of our newest Habitat homeowners.
Part VIII: End of Ceremony
Bryan Wong, Executive Director, makes departing remarks.
This is just the beginning, but with your help, we can continue to be housing innovators and serve more families than ever before! See the many ways you can continue to help below.
Join the Builders’ Club
The Builders’ Club is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley region.
As a member, you make a difference all year round. With every monthly donation you make, you alter the trajectory of families’ lives. Increased health, double the chances of attending college, and financial freedom are just a few benefits that your membership brings to families living in the homes your contributions will help build.
Join the Builders’ Club HERE
Share This Page with Your Network
The best way to make more change and help more families is by getting more people involved! Share this page with your network. Even better? Follow us on social media, share, like, and help more families with just a few clicks and keystrokes!
Habitat for Humanity surveys homes amid destruction left by deadly earthquake in Haiti
LES CAYES, Haiti (Aug. 17, 2021) ─ Habitat for Humanity crews have fanned out in Haiti’s southwestern peninsula to survey homes in the wake of a powerful earthquake that has killed at least 1,297 people and caused thousands of structures to the crumble to the ground.
The death toll and the number of people injured – estimated at 5,700 as of late Monday – are expected to rise as emergency teams continue to go through the rubble left by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which leveled homes, churches and schools in cities such as Les Cayes, Jeremie and Anse à Veaux.
Officials have documented more than 12,000 homes destroyed or damaged so far, but Habitat expects this figure to rise significantly as more areas are surveyed.
“Our teams have started surveying neighborhoods in the affected areas to help assess damage to homes, in coordination with the government and other humanitarian agencies,” said Jean Frenel Tham, national director of Habitat for Humanity Haiti. “Unfortunately, these structures – many with large openings on the ground floor, little or no reinforcements, and low-quality materials – often suffer serious damage in earthquakes. And, as we saw for far too many families on Saturday, they can collapse entirely.”
Search and rescue crews continue to extract people trapped under rubble, and hospitals are struggling to cope with the surge of injured people. Because of frequent aftershocks, many frightened residents are choosing to sleep outside. Heavy rains associated with Tropical Depression Grace late Monday and into Tuesday, meanwhile, complicated relief and recovery efforts.
“Tragically, thousands of Haitians are once again faced with rebuilding their lives and their homes,” said Ernesto Castro Garcia, Habitat’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We at Habitat are committed to being with them every step of the way. Our priority right now is to complete a thorough assessment of shelter needs in the impacted area and develop response options for the early recovery and reconstruction phases.”
Habitat for Humanity, which began working in Haiti in 1984, has forged strong partnerships with communities in Haiti’s southwest peninsula. Habitat worked with families to complete about 1,200 homes in response to Hurricane Matthew, which hit in 2016. Habitat continues to support construction of affordable housing, including for elderly residents in the area, while also building latrines and water points. Unrestricted tithe funds from San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity donations have supported efforts in Haiti for many years.
The Howard -Navarro Story
The Howard-Navarro homes, are made possible through a partnership with the City of Pasadena, generous donors and the support of hundreds of volunteers. When completed, these homes will transform the lives of the families for generations. Keep visiting this page for the latest updates on the fifth SGV Habitat project in the City of Pasadena.
Project Stats: 2 New Homes
Update – June 17, 2021
This vacant slab of dirt with empty garden boxes will soon be the foundation for the the hopes and dreams of two families.
Update – July 2, 2021 – Howard-Navarro Groundbreaking Ceremony
As is the Habitat tradition, elected officials, donors, faith and youth partners, corporate partners, and community come together to celebrate the beginning of construction at the latest SGV Habitat homesite in Pasadena. Watch these videos in order to get the ultimate groundbreaking experience.
Part I: Introduction
Executive Director Bryan Wong and Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development welcome you to the Howard-Navarro site in Pasadena.
Part II: Invocation – Dr. Reverend Lisa Hansen
Per Habitat tradition, Reverend Lisa Hansen from Pasadena Presbyterian Church says a few words and officially opens the groundbreaking in prayer.
Part III: Congresswoman Judy Chu
Our next speaker is Congresswoman Judy Chu. Representative Chu is a champion for affordable housing and homeownership locally and nationally. We were honored to host the Congresswoman last year during our Women Build a Better World Webinar series and are delighted to have her here again with us to celebrate the beginning of this project.
Part IV: Mayor Victor Gordo
Our next speaker, Mayor Victor Gordo of Pasadena, personally supported and voted for this project to take place.
Part V: Jim Wong
There are many partners who help make a project like this possible. One of these partners is Pasadena’s Department of Housing. We’re glad to work with the Housing Department again to make affordable homeownership more present in this great city! Jim Wong is one of the very special people at the department who have helped make this project possible.
Part VI: Assemblymember Chris Holden
Another housing champion with us today is State Assemblymember Chris Holden. Assemblymember Holden is no stranger to Habitat for Humanity. He’s helped us pass important legislation at the state level to help more Californians access safe, decent and affordable housing. Locally, he’s joined us on many projects like these. In fact, just a few years ago, he, his wife and several of his staff joined us for our annual Women Build program where they helped landscape 9 homes.
Part VII: District Representative Dominick Correy
Another guest joining us today is from State Senator Portantino’s office. Senator Portantino has been a long-time Habitat champion, serves on our honorary board and was even part of our organization’s hiring committee at one point. We are grateful for Senator Portantino’s partnership and are pleased to have Dominick Correy with us today to say a few words on behalf of the Senator. Rumor has it that Dominick is an avid ReStore supporter! Our ReStores are our social enterprise stores that sell furniture, appliances, home goods, and building materials. All proceeds from the stores help fund our mission.
Part VIII: End of Ceremony
And now, enjoy the end of the show!
The Unsung #SHEroes of Women Build
All #WomenBuildMonth long, we asked supporters all around San Gabriel Valley to share stories of their unsung #SHEroes. These women inspire them and represent the strength and resilience inside every woman. This blog is a celebration of each and every one of these #SHEroes, and the many women out there like them.
“My mother raised my siblings and me (5 total), by herself. She brought all five of us and 2 more cousins to the United States illegally. My mom cleaned other people’s homes to pay rent, put us through school, and put food on our table. In 1996, my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she was suffering from seizures, she had surgery, recuperated, and continues to thrive. My mother is my inspiration because no matter what life throws at her, she finds the will and strength in her to get through the struggle. My mother has taught me to keep pushing forward no matter what life deals you.”
“Elisabeth (right) works tirelessly, six days a week, to provide opportunities and training to young adults on the autism spectrum in film production/post production, video game design, visual effects, and animation. She is a program supervisor with Actors for Autism. She always shies away from thanks, because in her mind these opportunities and students are worth fighting for and committing time to. THEN, in what little free time she has, she is pursuing a career as an actress. I’m inspired by her commitment and dedication to her craft running so deeply, and she keeps finding more success as she constantly challenges herself to grow her career.
She is welcoming to literally anyone and everyone. She makes people feel at home that might otherwise be alienated. She’s the type of person who would give a homeless person $10 if they ask for change. She tithes 10% of her income to an under-resourced orphanage in Mexico. Additionally, for the orphanage, she has organized clothing and diaper drives, to take down to the orphanage herself. She donates time and money to Mercy for Animals, to help stop animal cruelty. She has volunteered for Camp Del Corazon to help children with heart disease. She basically donates her time and money to more amazing companies and non-profits than I can even think of.”
“Flora is amazing beyond measure! Despite her extremely busy schedule—working more than a handful of jobs, while managing her own freelance businesses, as well as being a full-time bunny mom (just to name a few), she still makes time for her friends and family. There is a saying that goes: “Nobody is ‘too busy’. Rather, they make time for the people they care about.” Flora is the perfect example of this saying because she is always there for everyone, regardless of how hectic her life may be. She timelessly puts others before herself. She never fails to make sure that every single person is well taken care of. Her compassion for helping others is something truly admirable. Anyone who crossed paths with Flora would agree how much brighter their life has gotten because of her words of wisdom and charismatic personality. Even with how brilliant she already is, she eagerly continues to have the desire to learn new things. With that, she has been a great life mentor for myself and many others—all while staying true to herself and being humble.”
“My mother (right) is a selfless and strong woman. Her love for her children and family is incredible. She is a mother to my special needs brother Sebastian Mujica and is constantly looking out for his best interest, fighting for his rights and fair treatment and wants the best for her family.”
“My mom (left) made the most important decision in her life when she decided to become a single mother. Growing up, she made it possible for my brother and I to focuses on our studies, participate in extracurricular activities, while still packing all homemade lunches and giving us a safe place to call home. Raising two kids in a single-parent household was not always easy for her, but she never let anything get in the way of being the best mom, the best example, and the best SHEro she could be. My mom gave, and still continues to give, my brother and I all that she can, even if it means having fewer things for herself. Selfless, hard-working, and strong are the words that come to my mind when I think about my mom. My brother and I are educated, first-generation, Chinese-Americans who are products of a single-mom household. We are living proof that single-moms are strong.”
“Every since I was young, I always wanted to be exactly like my mom (left). Her energy is like nothing else – she is strong, and opinionated, and uses her voice to consistently speak out against injustice and for what she believes in. She is also kind, and thoughtful, and goes out of her way to make everyone feel welcome and included. The joy that she brings into the world is unparalleled and infinite, and I cannot be more thankful to have a woman like her in the world!”
“My mother, Veronica, is most definitely my #SHEro. Throughout her life, she has been dealt a difficult card, from being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, to breast cancer twice, and so much more, she has kept fighting for her children. Even throughout those difficulties, she always instilled in us the wisdom we needed to succeed. Today, she’s a grandmother, and part of a strong bloodline of “Guerreras” – or female warriors. I could not be prouder of her, the women before her, like my grandmother Josefina, and the women after her, including my sister Vanessa, and nieces, Josefine and Amelia. Each have left and will leave a path for future generations of women to take, and surpass – as they should.”