Why I Show Up to Volunteer

This blog was posted on behalf of Tommy Velez, Vice President, Data Center Group / General Manager, Networking Platforms Operation.

Tommy’s team develops and delivers OEM and custom Ethernet solutions for key customers across all Datacenter Platform Group segments.

 

 

Intel’s emphasis on community service has inspired me for years—36 years, in fact—since I started as an engineer fresh out of college. You don’t have to look far or listen hard to learn what our employees are doing to make a difference outside of work.

One of my personal passions is serving Latinx families in our community. When I was introduced to Centro Cultural 8 years ago, it quickly came to hold a special place in my heart, and has kept inspiring me to show up and volunteer. The center’s programs promote personal growth and empower Latinxs to be self-sufficient, engaged, and active citizens who are part of the economic, social and cultural fabric of Oregon. They’ve helped thousands of Latinx and low-income residents become productive members of the community.

In response to COVID-19, Centro Cultural quickly developed the Esperanza Relief Fund to help migrant families with rent, utilities, and medical expenses. Centro is on the front lines, helping small businesses find resources to stay open, helping Spanish-speaking families with unemployment insurance enrollment, communicating bilingual safety information, and holding weekly food banks in partnership with another local organization.

I keep showing up at Centro Cultural because I’ve seen the impact they have on people. I see a community that is prospering and growing in the face of adversity. I see teenagers and single parents who come together at the Community Center, each able to access everything from career advice to free internet and computers. I see the families of migrant workers who are offered legal counsel and help navigating the court system.

And of course, I also show up because of Intel’s sponsorship of Centro Cultural—including financial contributions as well as employee volunteers who roll up their sleeves and work hand-in-hand with Washington County Latinx youth. It is our goal as a volunteer group to ensure that accessibility becomes a challenge of the past and one that the next generation won’t have to face.

We do this through three main programs that all center around STEAM education and technical skill building: the Lego Robotics Program, The Summer STEAM Camp and a partnership with Portland State University’s MESA program.

I am proud to say that Intel employees have been volunteering for Centro Cultural for over 12 years—often on weekends—in service of Centro and its mission to create an inclusive, equitable community.

Let’s all find a way to show up—be it through a financial donation or a through a commitment to volunteer this year.