by Leslie Salinas

Today I want to talk to you about Marilyn Flores. Marilyn is our Case Manager here at Arms of Hope at Impact, and for the last 3 years, I have seen her heart. I think I can better describe her to you if I tell you stories. Marilyn worked extra hours in order to build and flex her time at Impact’s VBS this summer. She wanted to be one of the reading teachers for the month of July, and accrued her time off with Arms of Hope to be able to use 1 hour each day to teach 4th and 5th graders.

Marilyn loves to shine the light on others, and every opportunity that she gets she is celebrating those around her. If there is a birthday in the office, Marilyn is either decorating their doors or bringing flowers or cupcakes.

When we are staffing clients, Marilyn is quick to stop me in my tracks to show me how I am potentially building barriers for families. She is constantly looking out for the younger generation and encouraging them to become better for themselves. She has a whole squad! And I love it because she is an incredible mentor. She is the type of case manager that will spend countless hours planning with a client, and never lets them give up. On one occasion, one of our homeless clients was close to giving up on his situation. She drove by his place many days encouraging him to come to the office and finish his plan. It only took several months of that happening but they finally crossed the finish line.

On Wednesdays Marilyn works 12 hours shifts. She comes to the office in the morning, and then in the afternoon she visits Independence Hall apartments, where she provides AOH services for an hour to those who are on disability. Afterwards she rushes back to campus to offer services to people in our Resource Center food line. All the while she will tell you she is just doing what she loves, and does so with a huge smile on her face.

When our families are hurting, Marilyn is praying. In every moment, I see the heart of Jesus in Marilyn. Her joy is contagious. She works hard and never gives up. Recently we had a 10 yr. old in our offices and he said, “y’all are back here living the life!” I agree. We are indeed. I have such a privilege because I get to see her in action daily. She is a servant at heart. I am so honored to serve alongside her.

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