Olga is one of our regional coordinators and has been with Portfolio Resident Services for almost a decade. She is a San Antonio native and has been operating as a coordinator and mentor within her hometown’s area and surrounding regions for many years. If there is one thing we could tell you about her, it is that she loves her job. She is passionate about helping her community and cares for the residents she helps deeply.
Olga has organized a Summer Lunch Program for her communities’ members six out of the eight years she’s been with PRS. Every child on-site (on-site: on/at the properties we operate through) gets fed through this program during the summer!
This summer-long event operates from June 1st to the end of August. The program provides lunch and snacks to the children that live on-site and even some of those from neighboring communities.
Currently, ten family sites in the San Antonio area host the summer lunch program. The meals and other donations provided to these communities are donated by the San Antonio Food Bank and SA Youth.
Donations are set up by Olga, other coordinators, and volunteers in a picnic style manner.
These hot lunches are balanced with great nutritional value. After meals, activities are then hosted for the kids to enjoy. Their daily snack is usually served sometime after activities.
These events also have a “share basket”. Here, any leftover food or unwanted snacks can be placed in a basket for the kids to then have the freedom to trade snacks, get second helpings, or just donate unwanted items to their peers.
When we asked Olga this question, she explained that she knows these types of programs are essential in the community. She has parents calling her before the summer even starts to ask if their kids are going to be able to be fed.
It eliminates one less worry for burdened parents to deal with while their kids are not in school.
It is safe to say, that with said situations, it shows more than just the benefits, but the necessity behind these events. Yet, how exactly would one define the event’s success?
Ms. Olga describes the event as being successful by hearing the kids’ laughter.
She’s had young residents come up to her and say, “my parents couldn’t take me on vacation, but this is better”.
Ms. Olga states she feels very strongly about what Portfolio Resident Services stands for. “The work is very rewarding,” she says. Which is why she loves going above and beyond for her community.
Apart from this yearly lunch program, Olga organizes multiple onsite “food pantries” throughout the year.
These are similar events that she hosts through the local food banks. Every other Tuesday, food, including fresh meats, produce, and bread, directly from HEB and Trader Joe’s is set up like a farmer’s market at the properties. This is to make the food drive experience enjoyable and aesthetically beautiful.
“It’s hard work,” Olga says, “It’s 106 degrees, you are unpacking, setting everything up, then cleaning everything once it’s done. Though the process is physically tiring, when you start to open thank you emails and messages, it makes everything worth it.” The overwhelming response of gratitude is what she says takes away her exhaustion. “All you feel in that moment is joy”. She says that the feeling is like a second wind that always makes her want to do more.
“You’re putting food on people’s plates, it’s something that you need to experience to fully understand its impact”.
Food pantries aren’t a mandatory thing that PRS requires of coordinators, but Olga says there is always a need in her communities.
Portfolio Resident Services is a nonprofit organization that works within the affordable housing industry, specializing in resident services. Resident Services includes a complete range of support programs authorized by resource management at the properties. Olga is one of many amazing coordinators that creates and carries out these programs/events at affiliated sites. We offer everything from after school arts and crafts, food drives, to our Purpose Fund Scholarship Program which gives high potential students struggling through financial hardship the opportunity to maximize their academic talent, available to all who qualify. We build stronger communities and make sure all residents have a support system in place.
We can help you create a better living environment, contact us today and see how PRS can be involved in your community!