A mother of three, Pat Lopez has taught her children to follow in her volunteer footsteps.
Her daughters Brittany Armendariz, Valerie Lopez and son Alejandro Lopez all give of their time.
Pat, who is volunteer chair at Burleson Elementary School, has been pitching in for 22 years. She started when Valerie was in prekindergarten, stopped for a couple of years and then the school asked her if she wanted to be a substitute teacher and volunteer to get her to be volunteer chair.
“… I was kind of nervous in taking that position, but I’ve been here ever since, going on 22 years of volunteering,” Pat Lopez said.
Her son, Alejandro, a 10-year-old fifth-grader, has followed the lead of his mother and sisters, giving of his time during lunch for after-school programs and setting up for programs, among other things.
Pat Lopez said Alejandro also moved more than 100 chairs to the gym for state testing and then put them back.
He also helps around the house and assists neighbors. Alejandro said his mother and volunteering have enabled him to learn to be kind, respectful, helpful and to build relationships.
Alejandro said his older sisters were his role models and his mother taught him how to do the right thing.
Along with helping at school, Pat also volunteers at churches, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Pat said they help out with vocational Bible school, or whatever is needed, as much as they can.
She said it feels great that her children like to help others.
“There are times that I have to tell them, ‘Let’s do this together.’ Most of the time, it’s them — ‘let’s help,’ or if we know somebody who needs help within the community, or a family member, we like to be there to help,” Pat said.
Along with their three children, Pat and her husband, Ralph, have three grandchildren. She’s teaching them about the importance of volunteering, as well.
She added that it’s important to teach children not to think only of themselves.
“I think in today’s world, there are not very many kids that really know unless we as the parents show them to be kind to others. If we want to be treated that way, then you’ve got to give it also,” Lopez said.
The Lopez family plans to travel to Van Horn for Mother’s Day to be with her sister’s family.
“I have a nephew who’s going to do his first holy communion in Van Horn,” she said.