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Meet Samantha Gonzalez of Northwest Assistance Ministries

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Gonzalez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Samantha. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began in Fundraising and Special Events in 2009. I’ve worked for the Houston Symphony, National Kidney Foundation, Society for the Performing Arts and most recently at Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) where I serve as the Fundraising Manager.

NAM is a non-profit, community-based social service agency striving to meet human needs through neighbors helping neighbors. In the last fiscal year, NAM touched the lives of more than 129,000 men, women and children by providing assistance in the areas of food, shelter, clothing, education, children’s health, domestic violence assistance, mental health awareness and much more.

NAM is very near and dear to me because my mother learned English here at NAM in the 90s after my parents moved our family to Houston from Guadalajara, Mexico where I was born. With that being said, my passion for raising money for NAM is beyond because I first-hand know the impact NAM can have on an individual. Not only do I believe in the mission, I am a testament to the mission.

My role at NAM is to help lead the fundraising efforts–about $2.1 million in the last year through relationship building, campaign management, corporate support and special events. I am proud to say that .89 cents of every dollar raised goes right back into the community.

I got to where I am today by having great mentors to guide me and by learning from every situation, whether it was good or bad.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A personal challenge I experienced being a young professional was wondering “when will I be at a higher level, how can I get to where my boss is?” I think that is a totally normal feeling that many encounters and it is hard to remain positive when you feel like it’s going to take you a long time to get there.

My advice is to find that person you want to be like and make them your mentor! Tell them that you admire them and want to learn from them. Ask them how can you get to where they’re at. Believe me, it will pay off, but you have to be patient throughout the process, understand that things do not happen overnight and you have to put in the work.

Northwest Assistance Ministries – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
NAM is most proud about .89 cents of every dollar being invested back into the community through our programs and services. We are also very proud of the 2,500 volunteers that choose us to do their volunteering with. Yes, we have a full staff, but with so much going on, volunteers are the KEY to our success.

Recently, NAM was the Pinnacle Winner of the 2018 Better Business Bureau (BBB) Award for Excellence in the non-profit category for all of the greater Houston area. We were up against some big names too that are doing great work in the community as well, so I know we are extremely proud of this accomplishment.

What sets NAM apart from others is the multitude of services we offer. We have Emergency Basic Needs, a Nutrition Center, a Family Violence Center, Meals on Wheels, a Children’s Clinic, Learning Center, a center to keep seniors active, Disaster Relief and a Resale Store. So we are able to help people in need in a variety of ways and at the same time and place.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Working together to make a difference is my definition of success. You can’t do as much on your own as you can do when you are working well with others.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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