Outgoing, fun, lovable! These glowing adjectives are used to describe Jesus “Chuy” Trujillo by the Adelante staff members who support him. Another term is “fantastic volunteer.”
Chuy, who has participated in Adelante’s Creative Hands program since 2009, is an active guy who enjoys art projects and physical therapy activities offered through the agency’s Community Options. He’s also a huge fan of the Dukes of Hazzard. But, it’s volunteering in the community that provides him the greatest satisfaction.
Frequent routes for Adelante’s Desert Harvest Food Rescue program and Meals on Wheels take Chuy all over the Albuquerque Metro Area. He makes these trips enjoyable for everyone who’s volunteering. “Chuy loves to sing along with songs on the van’s radio,” says Gary, a staff member at Adelante Creative Hands. “He’ll even change the lyrics to include my name, or the names of others he’s with. He’s really fun to be around.”
Chuy logs hundreds of volunteer hours in the community each year. Helping people have meaningful roles in the community, including volunteering, is an important part of Adelante’s day programs. In addition to Desert Harvest and Meals on Wheels, Chuy volunteers at the Storehouse food pantry, sorting food and clothes. He is also a member of Kiwanis Aktion Club, a branch of Kiwanis International that provides leadership and volunteer opportunities for adults with disabilities. Like all Kiwanis Clubs, the Aktion Club has a mission of improving the world one child and one community at a time. Aktion Club members, including Chuy, pick projects and then volunteer their time and effort to work on them. Recently, for example, the Aktion Club collected school supplies for low-income children.
“Chuy is a natural volunteer,” says Gina, another Adelante staff member. “He is self-motivated, doesn’t need a lot of direction, and is a good helper, loading and unloading the vans for Desert Harvest.”
“Chuy is just a very loveable person,” says Pam, Program Manager at Creative Hands, explaining how he likes to tell jokes and how much he cares for the wellbeing of others. “What can I say? We just love him to death—he’s a star!”
Across Adelante, we support the volunteer efforts of people with disabilities like Chuy, who contribute over 13,000 volunteer hours a year to New Mexico, because we feel it’s our duty as a nonprofit to give back above and beyond our mission. It helps our cities, and most importantly, it helps people with disabilities demonstrate their strengths. If you’d like to recruit our Adelante volunteers, contact us at info@GoAdelante.org.