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Central Coast organization helps people get back on their feet during pandemic

madrecita foundation
Madrecita Foundation

GREENFIELD, Calif. (KION) The Madrecita Foundation is helping people throughout Monterey County get back on their feet.

She loved butterflies and lottery tickets. She was a mother of three children, had seven grandkids and 2 great-grandchildren but the thing Maricela Hernandez is most remembered for is her loving and giving heart.

"She would like never hesitate to help other people. She would put them first before her. That was just the type of woman that she was, very giving with a big heart, always with an extended hand, always," said Yvette Garrido, coordinator of Madrecita Foundation.

Her children wanted to make sure her legacy of charity lived on. The nonprofit organization was created in memory of the founder's mother, who passed away in April 2020.

"We do as much as we can. We're doing little by little but I think we're getting there. I think we're getting the message out there and just helping is a good feeling," said Garrido.

Last year, the foundation put together a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and a Christmas one for the less fortunate children. They also volunteer their time at senior homes. One woman and her son came across the Madrecita Foundation through word of mouth after being kicked out of their home and forced to live in their car.

"I've been blessed with the Madrecita Foundation because I didn't know where to go, where to turn to. I was so depressed. I was like what is going to happen now but by the grace of God they came into my life," said Terri.

The foundation helped Terri get a Section 8 housing voucher for Terri and her son but she's still having a hard time finding permanent housing because of the pandemic. For Ivette, the opportunity to give back isn't about the reward.

“Don't expect the people that you helped nothing in return. She would always tell us that, you get that down the road with God's blessings," said Garrido.

If you're in need of assistance, you can email the Madrecita Foundation at madrecitafoundaton50@gmail.com

If you want to donate to their Venmo, their number is (831) 210-9392

If you want to donate to their Zelle, the number is (831) 262-4646

Monterey County / News / Video
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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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