I grew up in a family of seven, that included 5 kids and two immigrant parents who were undocumented for many years. Like many traditional Latino families in those days my mother stayed home to watch the kids and my father went to work. Given our financial and family circumstances we relied heavily on our community for support and guidance. Our family only had one car during my childhood, so it was very common that I would ask one of our neighbors for a ride to school, doctor’s appointment or an extracurricular activity on a rainy day. Given our family was low income, we also relied on our friends and neighbors for non traditional loans that included borrowing a gallon of milk, borrowing tortillas or a few dollars so that my father could buy lunch which we would all pay back at the end of the week when his check was delivered on Fridays . Our community was our extended family, they helped us survive and our parents always reminded us that we should reciprocate the support when we had the opportunity.
My intro to philanthropy and master class were both taught by my parents. Although we had very little money to give, they always showed us that giving money was not the only way to help people. We regularly helped neighbors with yard work, errands and or simply sharing un plato de comida from the daily meal my mother cooked every day. Even on a small limited income, my mom always budgeted line items on her check register (and still does) a few dollars to a couple charities that had asked for help and would post thank you notes/cards she received in the kitchen to explain to us (the kids) that there is always someone out in the world with a bigger need and that regardless of one’s budget it was important to help out and share the blessings we had received.
Today, I am honored and excited to be part of a team that came together to launch the Orange County Latino Giving Circle and kicked off Latinx Heritage Month by issuing our first two grants to Latino-led nonprofits in Santa Ana. Being able to help our local community in the greatest time of need, reminds me how blessed I have been to have parents and a community who instilled in me the importance of giving and coming together to support those in need. I invite you to join us at the OC Latino Giving Circle and the broader Latino Giving Circle Network to help more organizations and people in the coming years and inspire the next generation of Latino Philanthropists.
Ready to join the Latino Giving Circle Network? Learn how to join here.
Luis Cachua is a Brand and Digital Marketing Brand strategist, who has focused on helping serve the needs of Multicultural communities throughout his professional career. He is one of the founders and current members of the Orange County Latino Giving Circle.