Yakima family gives back despite pandemic challenges
YAKIMA, Wash. – As 2020 comes to a close, the Flores family from Yakima reflected on their year.
For father Jose, he was off to a fresh start in the beginning.
“At the time, I was living in a clean and sober house when it first started,” he said.
Jose eventually moved out of the house and back in with his wife.
Then, the woes of distance learning kicked in.
“Online schooling, I was doing college online. How the heck can you teach yourself college stuff?” Jose said it wasn’t an easy adjustment.
But still, Jose and his family pushed on.
When Thanksgiving neared, Jose had an idea to feed at least one family in need. So, he took to social media to see who needed help.
“‘Hey, we’re gonna donate one turkey to one family, you know, that’s in need, let us know,’ and by the first half hour, I had over 30 to 40 families and I was like ‘oh my goodness, how can we serve all these people with one meal?” Jose explained.
Just as they were preparing to deliver a meal, Jose’s health got in the way.
“When I came down with the shingles, like I said, I wasn’t at 100 percent, so I knew I was not gonna be able to cook the meal and actually deliver it,” he said.
After realizing the widespread need, Jose reached out to friends for help. What started as a single meal giveaway, grew into something much bigger.
“Two to three meals a day, drawing names and that was for like five days we did like five in 10 days and then we jumped to 15 a day,” he said.
For most families, Jose and his wife just delivered the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. However, some were living in motel rooms, so for those families, they cooked at home.
“109 households that were fed, from one thought of being generous to one family, where the community came together,” Jose said.
Although 2020 has presented challenges for the Flores family, Jose urges everyone to have faith that 2021 will be better.
“I believe that we will get through this as a community and world as long as we give that helping hand out,” he said.
More from Madeleine Hagen: