Make-A-Wish North Texas is thrilled to honor Roger Portillo as one of our volunteers of the month. Roger is married with two beautiful children, Brandon and Mia. He started volunteering by participating in the Secret Santa program that his former employer, Fedex, was involved in. Fedex donated toys at Christmas time to kids in areas that needed help the most. Roger also volunteers by reading to children at predominantly Spanish speaking Elementary schools in El Paso, Texas. Nothing has ever been as rewarding to Roger as volunteering with Make-A-Wish. He is dedicated to his community and we are thankful to have him as a Make-A-Wish volunteer.
How long have you been involved with Make-A-Wish and how did you first get started?
I started volunteering for Make-A-Wish at the beginning of 2016. I always wanted to volunteer for Make-A-Wish but did not have the time due to my work schedule. After changing career paths, I finally had the time to volunteer. I was referred to Make-A-Wish by one of my colleagues who volunteered while working at Best Buy. Joel spoke very highly of the organization and he pointed me in the right direction to get started.
Tell me about your favorite volunteer experience.
I have to say that it would be when Berenice and I organized the Toy Drive Kickball Tournament. It started with Berenice noticing that the “Ice Breaker” gifts were running low in the office. We ran with the idea and what started as a simple idea to get more toys into the office, resulted in an amazing event with coordination with several vendors and so many people willing to give back for such a wonderful cause. It was truly rewarding to know that there are so many people in the community willing to give back. It is amazing to know that if someone puts in a bit of effort, so much can be accomplished as a team to reach a goal. WE were able to bring a smile to so many kids’ faces through this toy drive.
What tips or advice do you have for others not sure about getting involved?
Be like Nike and JUST DO IT. I was held back because I thought there would be too many steps to get started, but that was not the case. Don’t hold back. Make-A-Wish needs volunteers. Just pick up the phone and do it. It will all be worth it the second you see a smile on the face of the first child you interact with.