Monday, December 14, 2009

The Season of Sharing Fund is a very good idea

Aspiring performer now answers to higher calling
Berton, Justin. San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 11, 2009.

San Jose -- If you ever find yourself calling for help, you may hear Erica Quinonez's voice on the other end of the line.

The 25-year-old San Jose resident works as an office specialist in Santa Clara County's Social Services Department, and by the time people call her office, they are looking for a lifeline, someone - anyone - to help them navigate a system that, at first glance, can appear overwhelming.

"I can hear it in their voice and I know what they're going through," Quinonez said. "I've been in those shoes."

In October, Quinonez, who has custody of her four younger siblings ages 14 to 20, had gotten behind on her rent and was handed a three-day eviction notice by her landlord. The family, which Quinonez has kept together despite years of bouncing among foster homes, rents a two-bedroom apartment in downtown San Jose.

"I was wondering where we'd come up with the money," she said. "Then I called someone and they helped me."

Through the Season of Sharing fund, contributors paid the rent for November and December, giving Quinonez time to catch up on bills and help purchase winter clothing for her siblings.

"This is the biggest blessing ever," she said. "This is something no one has ever done for us."

Two years ago, Quinonez's father signed over custody of the children before he entered San Quentin Prison, she said. But for many years earlier, the eldest sibling had already learned the nuances of the system to keep her two sisters and two brothers together as they ricocheted among foster homes, their grandparents' homes and homeless shelters.

Growing up, Quinonez attended 12 schools: "Mount Pleasant for one week, Live Oak High School for one day."

After she graduated from high school, and her parents had regained custody of the siblings during a stint of sobriety, Quinonez headed to New York through the City Year program. In exchange for living in the Big Apple, Quinonez provided one year of community service, determined to work with children who had walked a similar path.

"Since I was in the system my whole life, I wanted to give back and do something that no one else was doing," she said. "I wanted to change lives."

Yet when Quinonez said that when she returned, her parents had relapsed, and she was thrust into the parenting role once more.

"I had to be the backbone of the family," she said. "I had to do the cleaning, get the kids to school, buy the clothes, take care of the kids. I had parents, but they weren't doing anything more than providing some money."

Quinonez set aside her dream of attending college and becoming an actress and singer. She took a job as extra office help through a program for former foster care children in Social Services' Department of Child Support. She excelled, earning two promotions, and has since earned a full-time position with benefits.

She also has developed a bond with God, a relationship she once viewed with suspicion.

During a stay at homeless shelter in her youth, her mother asked her to pray for an apartment, and Quinonez remembers thinking, "If there was a God, he wouldn't do this."

"I used to be an atheist," she said, "but now I realize I can't do this alone."

A few weeks ago, Quinonez was at work when she answered the phone and heard a woman crying. The woman was going through a divorce and had been kicked out of the house and had no money and nowhere to sleep.

Quinonez handled it delicately, gave the woman a rundown on all the resources available to her, and led her to help.

"It wasn't my dream to be in social services," Quinonez said. "My dream was to be an actress and singer. But those dreams are over. I can still sleep and pretend like I'm in Rockefeller Plaza singing a song. Then I wake up to kids arguing over who's going to take a shower first or how cold it is. Maybe he has a different calling for me."

Donations to The Chronicle's Season of Sharing fund help thousands of people in the Bay Area throughout the year. Assistance is in the form of grants paid directly to the supplier, such as a landlord. Individuals cannot receive direct grants. For more information, visit

Labels: ,


Blogger mmjiaxin said...

swarovski jewelry
lululemon pants
ugg outlet
louis vuitton,borse louis vuitton,louis vuitton sito ufficiale,louis vuitton outlet
hermes belt for sale
polo ralph lauren
hermes outlet
juicy couture tracksuit
michael kors factory online
cheap nba jerseys
fitflops clearance
chanel outlet store
camisetas futbol baratas
chanel handbags outlet
pandora outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
discount ugg boots
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
tory burch outlet

4:39 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.01
louis vuitton, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada handbags, burberry, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, nike air max, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, burberry outlet online, nike outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, chanel handbags, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, christian louboutin outlet, nike free, nike air max, longchamp, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, louboutin outlet, replica watches, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, prada outlet

4:58 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, timberland, nike trainers, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, michael kors, ralph lauren pas cher, longchamp pas cher, lululemon, lacoste pas cher, new balance pas cher, hollister pas cher, hogan, nike air max, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, sac guess, nike roshe run, oakley pas cher, north face, vanessa bruno, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, nike blazer, nike free, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, air jordan pas cher, true religion outlet, hermes, nike air max, coach purses, mulberry, sac longchamp, air force, nike huarache, michael kors, michael kors, north face, michael kors, coach outlet, burberry, longchamp, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister, louboutin pas cher, air max, tn pas cher

5:00 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

vans shoes, soccer shoes, hollister, north face outlet, nike roshe, north face outlet, chi flat iron, bottega veneta, instyler, mont blanc, giuseppe zanotti, babyliss, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban, ralph lauren, asics running shoes, p90x workout, timberland boots, herve leger, nike air max, valentino shoes, gucci, hollister, beats by dre, iphone 6 cases, louboutin, wedding dresses, iphone 6s cases, mac cosmetics, mcm handbags, nike air max, reebok shoes, iphone 6s plus cases, converse, lululemon, oakley, birkin bag, baseball bats, ipad cases, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, insanity workout, iphone 5s cases, soccer jerseys, ghd, s5 cases, new balance, vans, iphone cases, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags

5:02 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

coach outlet, hollister, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, moncler, doudoune canada goose, links of london, canada goose, montre pas cher, sac louis vuitton pas cher, doke gabbana outlet, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, toms shoes, barbour, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora charms, moncler, barbour jackets, karen millen, swarovski crystal, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, swarovski, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, moncler, bottes ugg, replica watches, converse outlet, lancel, canada goose, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, moncler, moncler, moncler, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, ugg boots uk, moncler, supra shoes, louis vuitton
ninest123 16.01

5:04 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

jordan 3s
coach outlet online
kate spade handbags
air force 1 trainers
coach factory outlet online
cheap air jordans
kobe 8
oakley outlet
air jordan shoes
toms outlet
coach outlet
toms shoes
michael kors outlet online
kobe shoes
michael kors purses
nike store
cheap louis vuitton handbags
kobe 8
louis vuitton outlet stores
cheap jerseys
ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet
air jordan femme
coach outlet store online clearances
hollister clothing store
louis vuitton purses
asics shoes for men
ralph lauren outlet
coach factory outlet online
michael kors outlet online
fitflop shoes
celine handbags
nike roshe run
nike roshe run
replica rolex watches
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors handbags
asics running shoes
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton

6:48 PM  
Blogger Fangyaya said...

denver broncos jerseys
louis vuitton handbags
replica watches
ralph lauren uk
nike trainers
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet online
toms outlet
adidas shoes
nike outlet
oakley sunglasses
christian louboutin pas cher
coach factory outlet online
burberry outlet
louis vuitton handbags
adidas nmd
louboutin shoes
cartier watches
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
oakley sunglasses
true religion jeans
christian louboutin shoes
christian louboutin paris
christian louboutin shoes
christian louboutin sale
gucci outlet
jordan 6

10:45 PM  
Blogger Esraa Abbas said...

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Obat asma ampuh said...

given article is very helpful and very useful for my admin, and pardon me permission to share articles here hopefully helped :

Obat herbal mata berair
Obat tradisional mata kering
Cara mengatasi jerawat baru tumbuh
Obat rabun dekat
Suplemen pelangsing badan
Cara mengatasi mata perih kena debu
Obat radang hati

5:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home