Eleazar Díaz sees the bigger picture when she waters, weeds and prunes the plants and vegetables in the KidWorks community garden and compost at our Dan Donahue Center.
As a long time volunteer, she is keenly aware not only of the thriving plants, but also the positive growth in the community where KidWorks serves.
Eleazar is gladly willing to get her hands dirty in the garden soil, and she’s also learned to be a leader on our Dan Donahue Group of Moms and Parent Advisory Council.
It all began over 10 years ago when a neighborhood mom invited her to volunteer at the KidWorks preschool. Her daughter, Yosely, then three-years-old, was too young to enroll—but Eleazar said “yes” to the volunteer request anyway.
“Since then, Eleazar has been one of our most dedicated and committed volunteer moms,” says Sonia Rios-Guzman, our Parent Engagement Coordinator.
Eleazar, quiet and humble, gives much of the credit to her daughter, Yosely, now 13-years-old, and a student in our after school programs.
“Before I enrolled Yosely in the KidWorks preschool, we’d walk by the center and she’d say, ‘Mom, I want to see the kids!’”
Eleazar brought her little daughter with her when she volunteered at our preschool.
“Yosely would pick up a white cloth and help me clean the counters,” she recalls. “The very next year, she was old enough for preschool and we enrolled her. Since then, KidWorks has become part of us.”
In her 10-plus years as a KidWorks volunteer, this mom has grown out of her natural shyness and learned to speak up with ideas and suggestions that are welcomed by the KidWorks’ Parents Advisory Council and Group of Moms.
“Eleazar is a real motivator for our parents, and she’s a role model, too, because she’s willing to take on any task,” Sonia says. “When the parents or moms councils have an upcoming meeting, she goes down the list making phone calls reminding them to attend. She’s a good planner too, and helped us with the countless details required to make our annual Townsend Street Resource Fair a yearly success.”
To Eleazar, the garden she helps tends is not the only metaphor for the potential within the central Santa Ana community where she and her family live.
“When the doors first opened at the Dan Donahue Center, I saw this as a place that would be my support system,” she says. “Today, when I come to volunteer, I love seeing that those doors are still wide open. It means they are open for me and other moms to volunteer, get involved and make a difference.”
You continue to make a tremendous positive difference, Eleazar. We appreciate all you do!
By Glenn, Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer