Corporate work group volunteer Erasmo Pacheco, Director of Treasury at InvenTrust Properties Corp. knows firsthand how it feels to go without. He shares his personal story of growing up in a strong, loving family that struggled financially, and the lessons learned that he practices today.
Why It’s Important That I Give Back to the Community
By Erasmo Pacheco, Director of Treasury, InvenTrust Properties Corp.
I grew up in a working class, immigrant household, and one of the core values instilled in me was a strong sense of community and helping those in need. Throughout my childhood, my parents worked hard to provide for our family. Despite their best efforts, there were times where circumstances or unexpected expenses forced them to make difficult cutbacks. My parents weren’t familiar with social programs, and though they likely qualified for help, they feared the judgement and stigma of using these services. Instead we made sacrifices, and a memory that haunts my mother to this day is the sight of me continually going to the kitchen to a mostly empty refrigerator.
Despite our circumstances, my parents never hesitated to help family or close friends who were facing more difficult times than we were. They offered what they could, whether it was a place to stay for a few weeks or maybe just a simple meal and conversation for the evening – my parents never turned loved ones away. Fortunately, through continued perseverance, faith and a little luck, they overcame these struggles and eventually established a middle class living.
Our early struggles have not been lost on me, and I have used it as a guiding principle throughout my life. In high school I joined a build for Habitat for Humanity during my summer break and I was the Philanthropy Chair for my college fraternity. Some of my most cherished memories are from volunteering as a coach for a middle school boys’ park district soccer team.
I’ve had opportunities to serve the community through my current employer, InvenTrust Properties. When our executives looked to establish a community service team, I jumped at the opportunity to join and lead the team. While searching for organizations to partner with, Loaves & Fishes’ Mission & Values that emphasized compassionate giving and dignity really struck a chord with me. Upon meeting the staff, seeing that the values were part of the culture and not just slogans, and discovering the incredible resourcefulness and scale of their operation sealed the deal that this was an organization we had to partner with. It has been a great partnership, and one that I look forward to continuing to build on.
I find it important to give back, as it’s all that I’ve ever known. Our community is very fortunate to have Loaves & Fishes and all of its incredible volunteers. You can see by the client testimonials how appreciative clients are of the help and support, and how much it means to them that they are treated with dignity and compassion. It’s these stories that bring everything full circle for me. I know first-hand the struggles that these families are going through, and I know that the extra help that Loaves & Fishes provides can make a world of a difference.