‘Iluminando la Comunidad’ series brought to you by ComEd
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a nonprofit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois. Since 1987, they have saved the lives of more than 18,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. Raiza Mendoza is the Hispanic outreach coordinator for Gift of Hope.
EXTRA: Tell me about your involvement with Gift of Hope. How many years have you been involved?
Raiza Mendoza: I am in charge of the Hispanic community and public relations, which is marketing, media, events, etc. The mission is “saving lives” and giving away scholarships. There is a necessity of educating Latinos about becoming organ/tissue donors. I’ve been doing that for six years now.
What does your job require?
For me, a fundamental condition is to love the community and to have enthusiasm. Besides that, we must advertise, be skilled and creative, and have a profound love for the community.
What makes Gift of Hope a special place to work?
I think that the main mission is saving lives. I was in the Venezuelan Congress for 19 years. I’ve found this mission is very rewarding. We look forward to helping others to have a better life. Our work is soundly making a difference in others’ lives.
What are some of your biggest achievements there?
When I came to Gift of Hope there were no volunteers, even worse no knowledge about donating organs. People did not want to accept us. So I had to create a Latino network called the Latino Council, which has grown in several states. I’ve received several awards like Women in Health, one from Casa Mexico, and some for leadership. That is why I know that the work I do I do it right.
What is the most memorable event that Gift of Hope has hosted?
One of the projects was creating a scholarship program to help Latinos to get a higher education. The Latino community needs education.
Much like Reiza Mendoza’s commitment to educate the community on organ donation, ComEd is dedicated to educating its customers on how to save energy and money at home. That’s why, ComEd provides online access to no cost/low cost energy-efficiency tips all year long.
This post is also available in: Spanish