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AEP Texas Employee Continues to Give Back to His Community

by on September 5, 2019
Gonzalez, family members and friends delivered school backpacks to Ed Downs Fine Arts Academy in San Benito.

SAN BENITO, Texas — Victor Gonzalez, service mechanic in San Benito, always knew that when he was in a position to help his fellow man, he would not hesitate to do it.

“I grew up poor,” Gonzalez said. “And now that I can help my community, I do it in any way I can. Whether it is a benefit barbecue or anything else I can do, I will always try to help. If someone does not step up and take the lead, no one will. You just have to talk to people and share ideas. It will all fall into place and it will happen.’

Gonzalez, his wife Marisela, and their friends David and Julie Figueroa, made it happen a couple of weeks ago. They donated 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to Ed Downs Fine Arts Academy in San Benito.

“My mother-in-law helped us with 40 backpacks then David and Julie donated 60 more to make 100,” Gonzalez said. “We bought the other 100 backpacks and our family and friends helped us out, too, by donating the school supplies.”

Gonzalez stored all the backpacks and supplies at his home. A giant assembly line of friends and family helped to fill the backpacks. Gonzalez, his wife and their friends delivered the backpacks.

Victor Gonzalez

“We knew there were a lot of kids that were less fortunate at that school,” Gonzalez said. “It was very rewarding to go deliver backpacks. One mother cried when we they registered for school because she did not expect her kids to get backpacks and supplies.”

This is not the first time Gonzalez has rallied friends and family to give back to his San Benito Community. In November, Gonzalez recruited the help of the city of San Benito and the San Benito school district to identify 30 needy families. Gonzalez then purchased 30 turkeys and asked for donations from his fellow employees at the San Benito Service Center to make Thanksgiving baskets. Two days before Thanksgiving Day, Gonzalez drove around town in his pickup delivering the food baskets.

Gonzalez also regularly organizes barbecue chicken plate fundraisers for organizations or families in need of financial help. Gonzalez donates the chicken and his time and asks for nothing in return. He has helped many families cover medical and funeral expenses in the past.

“If you stop and look around, there’s a lot of need,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very rewarding to be able to help others in need. When people get down on their luck or need help, it’s good to see a community rally around them and help them out.”

Earlier this year, Gonzalez was recognized with a place in the Rio Grande Valley’s Walk of Fame.

Every year during Borderfest, a spring cultural festival in the border town of Hidalgo, cities and chambers of commerce from across the Rio Grande Valley nominate individuals who have made significant civic contributions and made a difference in the RGV to the Walk of Fame.

San Benito Mayor Ben Gomez nominated Gonzalez for the honor.

“Victor has always helped this community,” Gomez said. “Even before I was mayor, Victor was helping in Christmas time buying gifts for kids or ornaments and decorations. He always found a way to help. He is my appointee to the special events board with the city and it takes a lot of work to be a volunteer. There is no salary so he does it because he loves his community and wants to help. That’s why I nominated him.”

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  1. suemac3575 permalink

    Great job Texas.
    May I ask when the retired and obituaries will be back on line. I really miss this part of your news, keeping up with friends and Co workers

  2. jdmalone1aep permalink

    I do not have an ETA for obits and retirements yet … still trying to figure that out.

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