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Madellyne Vasquez

It is often said that life works in mysterious ways and that people do things for a variety of reasons—often very personal ones. For PADRES volunteer, Madellyne Vasquez, the motivation could not be any clearer: her family’s life has been touched by cancer and she wants to make a difference as an advocate.

“My grandfather died of liver cancer,” says Ms. Madellyne Vasquez. “Ever since he died, my family and I have been advocates of helping other families who are fighting cancer because it is a hard thing for a family to go through.”

Madellyne is finishing her first year at the University of California, Davis and has been a PADRES volunteer for the past two years - after learning about the program through Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

“I chose to volunteer with PADRES because of the sense of satisfaction,” says Vasquez. “After a day of hard work, seeing children with smiles on their faces is priceless and it takes away the feeling of being tired. Others should volunteer with PADRES because you become part of a family that acknowledges your hard work.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service and other entities that monitor youth and community involvement, young people today are volunteering in greater numbers than that of previous generations, with a desire of making an immediate and direct impact. Volunteering at PADRES is one way young adults and today’s youth are meeting that desire.

“Volunteering is important to me because I learn a lot while volunteering like how to work with families and children; be responsible; and how to interact with people at a professional level,” says Vasquez. “I also feel like I’m giving back to the community that helped me when I was in need .”

Because of her unrelenting willingness to give back, Madellyne Vasquez became the first recipient of the PADRES’ 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award. She received her recognition amongst 175 of her volunteer peers during PADRES’ 1st Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon in March 2007.

“My most memorable PADRES moment was at the Thanksgiving food distribution,” says Vasquez. “I was able to experience first-hand the gratitude of families after they received food for their Thanksgiving dinner. I also enjoyed wearing the ESPERANZA costume because I felt, in many different ways, that I was HOPE.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with PADRES, contact Gerry De La Rosa at (323) 850-7901x228 or gdelarosa@IAmHOPE.org.