As a community health worker, Ludivina Hernandez, community outreach coordinator for the ReACH Center, serves as a trusted liaison between community members and the health and social services sectors. During the chaos of the winter storms, she quickly connected with other members of the San Antonio Community Health Workers Association to raise funds for 10 families in crisis, including six households of grandparents raising grandchildren, and four families in dire need of water and heat. In a day, the team reached out to local churches and other organizations and together they were able to raise $1,075 to help the families with plumbing repairs and to purchase food, water or medication.
For Hernandez, helping people is a part of who she is.
“This is what I do,” she said. “I live in the Westside, and this is the community I am in contact with and close to. But I think this experience made us aware of how vulnerable we all are, and it made us realize that we’re more the same than we think. We are going to have a learn a lesson from this and prepare for next winter and the next crisis. We need to use each other’s strengths and knowledge, within our family, within our community, at work or in our churches. We need prepare to empower ourselves and empower the people.”