Technician? Construction worker? Adviser? Friend? Father? It’s hard to put this year’s most recent Volunteer of the Quarter, Juan Garcia, into one of these boxes. A system maintenance technician for BendBroadband the past 13 years, Juan has various roles outside of work and in the Madras, Oregon area—and they are seemingly endless.
First and foremost, Juan views himself as a teacher.
At Communiidad Latino En Accion (CLEA), he educates families on healthy habits and provides them with valuable information from different state-wide programs. This often involves reaching out to different government departments, inviting them to help. In addition, Juan guides families on ways to be active and develop healthy habits. He does this by hosting and coordinating activities such as hiking, playing sports with kids, and participating in other physical activities. In another teaching role, Juan serves as a coordinator at the Latino Community Association, helping families understand how and where to access information, such as how to get various permits. He also teaches kids and adults principles like respect, love, support, and faith at St. Patrick’s Church.
In another role, Juan sees himself as a provider when he volunteers at Habitat for Humanity. At the non-profit, he helps build homes while providing support for families in need. He also takes the construction skills he’s learned throughout many years of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and passes the knowledge along to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). At CASA, Juan teaches kids how to work hard and do things in construction, including how to read blueprints, execute a building plan, and so much more.
Collectively, Juan spends up to 90 hours a month volunteering at these organizations with his family. A lot of his free time is also occupied by his fatherly duties, as he has seven children between the ages of six months and 21 years old. Juan gets his kids involved in his work as much as possible.
“I like to share my work with my kids and have fun doing things for others with them,” Juan said. “And when I say fun, it’s not always enjoyable work for younger kids. They get busy!”
Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself–how in the world does he have time to sleep? Or work? Well, you’re certainly not alone in wondering. According to Juan, it’s a matter of mindset and outlook on life.
“A lot of times people ask me if I get tired, and the answer is yes,” Juan said. “What I tell the kids I work with is that they are the future. Whether they choose to try to make the world better than it was when they got here, and to help those in need, it ultimately depends on them. Right now it depends on me.”
Juan is someone who needs no recognition. He’s always been a person that would rather show than talk about it. According to Consumer Sales Representative Sharon Hann, it’s just the type of person he is.
“When I first came to work for BendBroadband, I was introduced to Juan via a warm smile and generous hug,” Sharon said. “At the time, besides knowing him as the always positive and compassionate technician around the office, I came to meet him again as a youth leader at our local church. That was when I learned how many hours he dedicates to the community, and when he encouraged me to get involved in something that inspires me. Juan never fails to leave a person feeling better after they encounter him.”
This mentality was instilled in him at a very young age. Juan credits his selflessness to the fantastic group of mentors he had growing up, from his parents and grandparents to his neighbors.
A well-known saying is that “good deeds should be done with intention, not for attention.” Through his beneficent attitude and the work he does for the Madras community, Juan Garcia embodies this quote to perfection.