Through his service as a food pantry assistant at El Buen Samaritano since June 2014, Lee Siegismund has learned what a worthy cause it is to place food on the tables of those experiencing financial hardship.
As a parishioner of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Lee had repeatedly heard about El Buen Samaritano throughout the years. He first heard about the organization through the weekly announcements to collect food for the food pantry after church service. Although he had previously donated food through St. Mark’s, he was always curious to find out more about the work of the food pantry.
“I really enjoy interacting with the clients and collaborating with Rosa, the food pantry coordinator, who is a great person,” he said. Lee also likes working and networking with other volunteers who have also held this cause dear to their hearts.
Lee is a retired airline pilot. His background in the nonprofit world as an accounts payable clerk for Southwest Key in Austin for six years also prompted his desire to get involved.
It is volunteers like Lee who make El Buen Samaritano a valuable place to the community. Thanks to him and many others, hundreds of underserved families receive health, education and food assistance at El Buen Samaritano every year.
Thank you, Lee, for all your hard work and dedication to El Buen!
Todd Phillips volunteered as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor back when El Buen was operating out of a small house off of South First. In those days, he occasionally provided his services as a translator for prenatal patients at El Buen’s Wallace Mallory Clinic as well.
Years later, a service learning project with his students at Austin Community College (ACC) brought him back to our campus. As a Spanish teacher at ACC, Todd is committed to learning about different cultures and helping break down educational and language barriers for students.
Currently a volunteer tutor in El Buen’s Youth Enrichment Program, Todd gives back by providing students homework support and supplemental learning after school. He realizes many of his students may not be able to get one-on-one academic help at home or in the classroom, which makes his work as a tutor very valuable to them.
“Students appreciate what you’re doing for them,” Todd said. “They say thank you and this shows how much it means to them.”
Todd recognizes the need and has become aware of the issues that affect a student’s educational journey. “It’s not until you have first-hand experiences that you realize the need and position underserved youth are in,” he said.
Thanks, Todd, for your continued support to the families we serve!
Phillip Doig works at a school that is incredibly intentional about promoting service to the underserved and marginalized. Teaching at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School for slightly more than ten years now has provided him with the opportunity to give back to a community he loves.
He first came through the doors of El Buen with some of his St. Stephen’s students about five years ago for service day. Three years later, he began teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) while his students provided tutoring to El Buen’s youth students.
After teaching at the high school level for many years, Philip recognizes how difficult it is to learn something at an older age. “My adult ESL students are interested in learning,” he said. “It’s not easy for them, but I admire their hard work and dedication.”
A knowledgeable and experienced instructor, Philip has a genuine ability to inspire trust in his students. He’s always willing to come in early or stay late after class to provide extra help, and his students rely on him beyond academic learning.
Volunteering at El Buen has given Philip an opportunity to learn about other cultures while he helps them learn his. “The students have helped me just as much as I’ve tried to help them,” he said. “Or maybe even more.”
Thank you, Philip, for being such an inspiration to our community!