In 2009, a Center supporter told Joe about the many children who arrive at the Center feeling unworthy and displaced. Yet, who soon find hope and healing given the compassionate care provided to them by Center staff members. Joe toured the Center’s Kearny Mesa campus and immediately volunteered to serve on the Center’s walk event planning committee, now known as the Wacky Wonky Walk & Kids Festival.
Joe recalls how impactful the tour was on him in having a flashback about his upbringing. “I slept in the same style of bed. None of these children are here by choice or did they ask for this. I know exactly what they’re going through. Even if I help one kid through what I do for the Center, it’s worth it.”
Joe has been active ever since, volunteering each year on the Wacky Wonky Walk Event Planning Committee. Not only is Joe an integral team player in the coordination leading up to the event, but also on the day of when he dresses up as Willy Wonka. Children love meeting and parading with Joe around the walk course – many smiles and positive memories are made.
“I love showing up and creating something fun and seeing everyone laughing. We get so much attention for the Center. It’s not about me dressing up as Willy Wonka. It’s about getting the word out.”
We are honored for Joe’s heroic contributions over the years and for bringing joy to many people’s lives. THANK YOU Joe for your gifts of time, talent, and treasure!
Join Joe and other Center volunteers in making a difference by clicking here.