Saturday Spotlight: Jobany Gonzalez
Chapter: Team RWB Atlanta
Member Since: 2013
Motto: “Life is short. Don’t let anyone stop you. Unless it’s a cop, then pull over.”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“I joined Team RWB back in the Spring of 2013, but didn’t sign up online until 2014. I had seen the tent at many of the same events I went to in San Diego. After a race, I got the courage to ask what they were all about. I loved that they were family friendly, and the people were sincere, genuine. They helped me find myself again. Before I knew it, I was climbing mountains in the morning, walking trails and trying to persuade other veterans to join in. ( By the way, very few wanted to get up at 5am and got climb a mountain to see the sunrise. Ha ha. They said they preferred to see the pictures! 🙂 It’s great camaraderie. They helped me develop my passion for service. Joining was one of the best things I could have done for myself.”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“I have to say my favorite experience is an overnight camping trip we did with RWB San Diego. We had it at the Horse of the Sun Ranch. They specialize in helping veterans with PTSD, among other things. It was a family event the weekend of Father’s Day. There were horses, horse shoe games, archery and hiking. Also, some water games. It was so much fun! At night, they put up a screen and projector so the kids could watch a movie. I am so greatful they hosted our Team!!”
How Do You Serve Your Community?
“Helping my community has been a passion of mine. Currently, I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and The Woodstock Police Department. Service before self. I know it’s cheesy and people hear that a lot, but I truly believe in it. It brings me such joy helping others. You pour your heart, sweat and sometimes blood into making the Habitat houses. Every home owner is different and has their own story. It’s amazing to watch them in their house at the end and know you helped make their dream a reality. As a volunteer for the police department, I try to spread a good image of the department. So many people have a negative view of the police, because of some bad apples. Not every police officer is bad. I want people to know that by seeing it. Even if it is in my community, these people can travel and carry that good image with them. I also love making care packages, fulfilling those little angel wishes during Christmas season and making holiday packages for the seniors at the senior center. Every week my kids and I drive to the police station and firehouse to deliver treats, or baked goods. It helps them develop a relationship with them. Although, secretly I think they just go for the hugs and to sit in the cars and trucks. 🙂“
What Inspires You?
“My children are my biggest inspirations. Everything I do is for them. I want them to learn good things from me. When I fail at something, they see it. However, they also see me get back up and try even harder. I want them to know it’s ok if something doesn’t always turn out the way you wanted it to, you just have to see the positive side to it. The only thing stopping them is themselves. Some things just require a little more work than others.”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“I think the biggest impact Team RWB has made in my life are the connections I have made. I have friends all over the country, both veterans and civilians whom I would never have known otherwise. It has given me a new purpose and really opened my eyes to serving my community and organizations in different ways. Team RWB has connected me with many resources to help others, and myself.“
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“Join! Do it! I have met some of the best people here. It doesn’t matter how fit you are. No one will pressure you into running 3 miles. So don’t let the fitness portion scare you off. Everything can be done at your pace. If you can’t do large crowds, this is the perfect setting. Meet a few members once a week or once a month. Go walking with them or go for coffee. Be their cheerleader or the grill master at the finish line. Just be there. Life is to short to let it pass you by. Spend it with some great people. P.S. If you find a grill master in your area, never let them go!”