I humbly receive this recognition from the White House, Cesar Chavez “Champion of Change.” My experience as a “Champion of Change" began at an early age. I grew up as the daughter of migrant farm workers, which prepared me for a life driven to serve low-income families, especially families of farm workers. My father was a World War II Veteran who had 17 children and worked the fields to provide for our family. I experienced hunger and poverty first hand and realized I had to do something to change that lifestyle and mindset. I grew up knowing that God’s hand of blessing was upon my life and that’s why I am passionate about my commitment to serving the hungry, the homeless, and the hopeless.
The Bible states in Psalms 41:1, 2: “Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; you will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.” Consequently, I established a non-profit organization called Help 4 Kidz in memory of my son Frankie, who lost his battle to a malignant brain tumor at the age of 15. Frankie’s dream was change one community at a time by feeding hungry children, keeping a roof over their heads, and bringing hope to the hopeless. His dream is being achieved through Help 4 Kidz’s partnership with USDA and our SNAP satellite office. Help 4 Kidz also has an office, for our HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency, which provides free pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure Prevention, loan modification, first time homebuyer workshops, renter’s assistance, and more to the consumers in our community.
Frankie’s heart for the homeless and hungry created a challenge for me and my family to become “Champions of Change” for our communities. Together, with the assistance of my daughter Hannah Jane Nunez, we have recruited volunteers from the community, as well as ASU’s School of social work. We challenge our volunteers to become “Champions of Change” by stepping up and serving in their communities.
My first volunteer community service was for Cesar Chavez in the early 70’s in Phoenix, Arizona. I met Cesar when he came to a restaurant I was working at to have coffee. He spoke of how they paid Hispanic farm workers less and how they had hard working conditions. Cesar recruited me to boycott outside a local grocery store that day. I was only 17-years-old. That was only the beginning of my life’s journey to serving the least of these. I want to thank Cesar Chavez’s family for keeping his vision alive.
Thank you again for this honor.
Rev. Eve Nunez is the Founder and President of Help 4 Kidz, which is an organization she founded after the passing of her beloved son Frankie.