Category Archives: Non-Profit

Empty Bowls Coming in September

The Food Bank RGV will present its Empty Bowls 2021 Luncheon and Silent Auction Sept. 21 and it recently welcomed Vantage Bank Texas as a Grapefruit sponsor. The sponsorship will enable the Food Bank RGV to provide up to 25,000 complete and nutritious meals in the Valley. The Sept. 21 event at Bert Ogden Arena from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. is Food Bank RGV’s signature fundraising event. Local restaurants will…

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Overcoming Adversity for a Better VIDA

Eva Alvarado

When the staff at Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement think of Eva Alvarado, two words come to mind: perseverance and resilience. Alvarado is a divorced mother of three, two who are adults and now live on their own. Her youngest, a 14-year-old son, lives with her in Brownsville. Two years ago, her youngest was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia and autism. Alvarado quit working because he required all…

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Path Leads to Becoming the IT It Guy

Jose Cavazos

When Jose Cavazos’s co-worker at Barcom Technology Services in Harlingen told him they had a service call at the Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement office in Mercedes, he felt a sense of both nostalgia and excitement. Cavazos had considered stopping in VIDA’s former office in Weslaco several times, but it was always closed by the time he got out of work. “As soon as we walked into the building,”…

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From Catch-22 To A Successful Career

Sometimes life plunges us into a classic catch-22. That is exactly where Cesar Romero found himself. Working as a nurse technician, Romero was earning $11 an hour. In order to increase his income, he applied to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Learning that the program required full-time-student status peppered his joy at being accepted. He could not afford to pay…

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McAllen Business Inspired By Prayer & Service

The smiles on the faces of Jeanie Rowell and Ann Gamblin of The Lamb’s Loom in McAllen say it all. This little piece of heaven is, indeed, their Happy Place.

In thinking of entrepreneurs, we usually envision individuals who take on the risk of establishing a business because they have a product or service, which they believe potential customers want, knowing if they are correct it will lead to personal financial gain. The ladies who established The Lamb’s Loom felt the same way, though the personal gain they sought had nothing to do with money. For 14 years, these ladies…

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Salvation Army Rings In Holiday Cheer & Help

The iconic red kettles of the Salvation Army and their greeters ringing Christmas bells by store entrances will continue through the challenges of an eventful 2020 – with added precautions. The kettles will be frequently wiped down with disinfectant to keep them clean. The volunteers will also be trained to keep themselves and others safe. Both the Christmas cheer and services of the Salvation Army will continue, no matter the…

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Project COVID Care Helps Elderly & Disabled

Johnny Llanes and Drea Labanzat make a delivery to a resident in need. (Courtesy)

Violet Metz became concerned in March as grocery store lines grew and local governments issued shelter-in-place orders. “At my age, security is such a huge concern,” said Metz, 81, a McAllen resident. “If I really need something, will I be able to get it?” It was an extraordinary period of time in March going into April as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. The general panic being felt in the community-at-large…

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Doors Now Open for Janet Oliva Cortez

VIDA: Janet Oliva Cortez

The team at Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement knows all too well about doors closing in keeping underemployed and unemployed people in the Rio Grande Valley from career advancement and higher pay. Janet Oliva Cortez knows about those challenges. Cortez works for the Weslaco Independent School District as a data entry clerk. It’s a good employer, secure job, and a decent salary. Cortez knew, however, that without a degree,…

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All Part of the Plan

Indeera Mohammed, McAllen AFT organizer, and Sylvia Tanguma, McAllen AFT president, present a check for $3,000 to Stuart I. R. Haniff, chief executive officer for the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, and his executive assistant, Gabriela Parra, on behalf of the members of the Central Labor Council, McAllen AFT and the Texas AFL-CIO. (VBR)

“Be prepared, not scared. Be proactive, not reactive.” ~ Stuart I.R. Haniff. When your mission is to fight hunger and to feed hope, countless people in your community are relying on you to be prepared. Stuart I. R. Haniff, the chief executive officer of the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley Inc., took that mission to heart in preparing his organization’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Haniff and his…

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Food Bank of the RGV Receives $20K Donation

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, HCA Healthcare Foundation

The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley is the recipient of $20,000 in grants from the HCA Healthcare Foundation. The food bank will use the funds in its Coronavirus Resource Readiness and Response Campaign. HCA Healthcare Foundation is a a tax exempt trust and the philanthropic arm of HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers. Locally, Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital are affiliates…

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