Cat (Caty) Gomez was born in Columbia, Tennessee. She is a mother of three wonderful children, a wife and has three cats and a dog that she adores very much. One might say that Cat has her hands full, but she still manages to volunteer ever week at the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). Even though Cat is so many miles from her hometown, she has found a second place to call home; at SFBFS where she volunteers her time in the Mother-Baby program. This program offers assistance to parents or guardians of a child between 0-24months, providing them with formula, diapers, baby food, clothing and a one on one visit with a volunteer mentor.
Cat has a lot of background experience working with children and families including experience at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, CA as a pediatric nurse and also at the children’s hospital in the well- baby clinic. Although, she has a heart for medicine she wanted to try something new and different for a while. She decided to get her paralegal certificate and work part-time in medical malpractice. She really enjoyed this experience which allowed for more time with her family. It also gave her the opportunity to enjoy her other interests like watching old movies, walking, hiking and yoga.
Cat is no stranger to volunteer work. She has been volunteering ever since she was a young girl in high school. She first started volunteering her time at the Nursing Mother’s Counsel in the bay area. For Cat, the rewards of giving to others are so much more than anyone could imagine, and this is just one out of several reasons why she continually volunteers her time. She is a woman who believes learning is lifelong challenge. Cat recently completed UCSD’s Certified Lactation Educator Program to help assist moms/families with breastfeeding. Cat volunteers at the Mother-Baby program as a mentor where she gives positive and informational advice to women regarding breastfeeding and offer any support to women who choose to breastfeed.
If you ask Cat why she thinks breastfeeding is so important, she shares, “I am passionate about helping mother’s breastfeed and receiving up-to-date information about the risks of not breastfeeding to help parents nurture healthy children.” She believes if more parents would breastfeed, the positive emotional and physical outcomes for both mom and baby would be incredibly positive for the environment and our society.
Cat is very excited about the Mother-Baby program relocating and expanding into SFBFS’ new Education and Technology Center across the street from SFBFS’ existing site in Oak Park. During this time, the name of the program will also change to Parent Education and is going to be offered at SFBFS’ North Sacramento facility as well. The program curriculum will change slightly to serve children up to age five and require an orientation and parenting classes where clients will receive points to acquire clothing, diapers, baby food, formula and other items. The program’s goal will continue to provide families and their children with the skills and resources to help enhance all the aspects of their lives – health, education, emotional development and safety.
When Cat first became a volunteer at the Sacramento Food Bank/Family Services (SFBFS), she had just returned back to California after twenty years. This experience reconnected her with her local community and she feels it is a gift to volunteer with all the moms and babies that come into the program. She is thankful for meeting such a great group of volunteers and is grateful for this experience and learns something new each time she comes while having the opportunity to help others.
Written by Lorena Carranza, Parent Education Program Manager