Giving back to seniors through programs you make possible

Jul 24, 2023

“Mom taught me to respect my elders.”

– Leo, volunteer

“Respect your elders” is an important lesson that Leo Salazar’s mother taught him at an early age. Leo says his mom was the foundation of his family and helped keep their hectic household of six together during good times and difficult times.

In his teens and early twenties, Leo found himself in trouble with gangs and the law. After serving his parole, Leo was hit with devasting news––his mom passed away. He was heartbroken.

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Leo decided to get his life back on track, making the positive changes necessary to turn over a new leaf. Then, his father passed away. The loss of both of his parents was devasting. He ached to fill the void and discovered a wonderful way to do that and to give backto his community.

Driving with heart

Leo learned about The Salvation Army Chula Vista’s Senior Nutrition Program and was hired as a driver. Now, he happily assists seniors to and from the Senior Nutrition Program, which provides free meals and necessary social connections for the elderly.

There are days when Leo admits that he wishes it was his own parents that he could be caring for, but he treats and respects the seniors at The Salvation Army as though they were.

Helping seniors brings a smile to Leo’s face because he can hear his mother’s voice in the back of his head telling him, “Respect your elders."

Thanks to donors like you, nutrition programs help seniors every day and provide a way for neighbors like Leo to give back.

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