"Always choose hope and always choose JOY" - Mayra Pacheco has made up her mind that even though the world may feel like it is going crazy around her, she can make the choice to remain positive and that's what she models for her two children. She started today out with holiday songs - determined to uplift their spirits and inject hope and joy into the day.
As a child in foster care who aged out of care without the necessary supports in place, Mayra has experienced times of sadness and struggle, but she has chosen hope. Not just for herself, but for her own children and for the thousands of children that Graham serves. Mayra shared, "I really appreciate and love the Graham SLAM program. I really wish something like that existed back then." She believes that all young people can benefit from the support and coaching provided by Graham SLAM.
Motivated by her own experiences in foster care - the feeling that no one cared - Mayra is happy to connect with Graham donors who give for the sake of giving. She can't thank them enough, "I want them to know that they are really making a difference."
Being on the flip side now as the Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator, Mayra said, "it's beautiful to see that there are people who care" - people willing to give their time and money for Graham's children and families. Mayra began her career at Graham as an intern nearly 13 years ago. Today she helps to manage the gala benefit, oversees the back to school drives, and leads the holiday gift drive.
Receiving a gift during the holiday season brings joy to Graham's children and youth. It makes them feel special. Today, Mayra goes above and beyond to make sure no Graham child feels forgotten like she did back then.
"It's joyful and fulfilling," said Mayra. "Just the thought of fulfilling a child's holiday wish, it's heartwarming. I'm grateful to the donors and volunteers who give to Graham all year round and to this important Joy Drive. You're really making a child's life better by giving them hope and joy."
This Giving Tuesday, support our holiday Joy Drive and make a child feel special.
Make a gift today: