BRENTWOOD (KPIX 5) This week’s Jefferson Award winner runs a small non-profit that’s helping people who need just a little to make a big difference.
Angela Sanchez didn’t want a hand-out.
“I go to school. I work, extra jobs, just to have whatever I have now,” she explained.
But seven years ago, she had nothing. Thieves stole every single item from her family’s home in Los Angeles. With nothing to lose, she and her husband moved to the Bay Area to be near her father. She was living in Brentwood when she heard about Delta Community Services, or DCS, a non-profit in eastern Contra Costa County that for 36 years has been helping people help themselves with housing a job referrals, as well as giving away donated household items.
Sanchez asked for a sofa.
“Went from a couch, from a bed, twin beds, from a washer for my kids to wash so I won’t have to come and spend more money…” she recalled.
Seventeen years ago, Earl “Bud” Medeiros got involved with DCS. Now its President, he uses his own truck to collect donated items and then gives them to those who ask for help. Think of a thrift store — except everything, clothes, dishes, furniture, is free.
“I get so much out of it, I can’t stop!” Medeiros said.
Medeiros retired from the tech industry in 2000, moved to eastern Contra Costa County, and quickly saw a need.
“I was running a major organizations in the computer industry — millions wasn’t an unusual number to talk about right? And now dollars, single dollars, is a big number to talk about,” he marveled.
Medeiros says the majority of DCS clients are farmworkers. Recently, more homeless come for clothes.
“Because laundromats are so expensive, they can’t afford to launder their clothes,” he explained. “So they’ll come in and find replacement clothes.”
For Sanchez, DCS and Medeiros are lifesavers.
“It’s amazing what I have now,” she said. “I am grateful.”
Medeiros is grateful as well.
“I just feel so a part of the community that it is something that I couldn’t give up,” he said.
So for helping countless families and individuals get back on their feet and survive financial tough times, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Bud Medeiros.
Delta Community Services relies on word-of-mouth for donations. To help by donating items, or a storage facility, please click this link.