Compassion Beyond Classrooms


Photo courtesy of JOSE MARQUEZ

DBHS teacher Jose Marquez is involved with the organization, Hands of Mercy, to provide homes for the less fortunate in Mexico.

Sophia Kim, Staff writer

Not many people are willing to sacrifice time and money for the benefit of someone else, especially if it’s for someone they’ve never met before. However, despite the hardships that follow, some DBHS teachers have been willing to lend a hand to fulfill the needs of others. Lisa Pacheco, Jose Marquez, Eric Sorensen, Angela Jensvold, and Margaret Ku have been devoting their time to raise money for the less fortunate.

As the Girl’s League advisor for the past 15 years, Pacheco has been working every lunch and break with students to raise money for a variety of charities. She and the club donate over $20,000 to breast cancer foundations, deliver food to St. Denis Church, raise money for the Women for Women International organization, and adopt families during the holidays.

“I just really found out that I have a passion for helping others and this club, to what we built it into, really does that,” Pacheco said.

Jensvold is in her 13th year of funding for various environmental organizations around the world. She donates to elephant orphanages, which help prevent poaching of ivory tusks, and contributes to scientific research in order to keep lions from being illegally killed. With the help of her contribution, she hopes that the deaths of elephants and lions will decline.

“From the money I get from being a teacher, I give some money here and there for environmental causes,” Jensvold said. “When I die, all my money will go to charity.”

While donating to charities appeal to certain teachers, Marquez enjoys working with charities hands-on, more than just funding them. Through the organization Hands of Mercy, he helps build small homes for people in Mexico who need shelter. Although a 500 square feet house with no running water or electricity may seem useless here, it provides a home for a family living in Mexico.

“You see these houses all over the place,” he said. “We paint the house, build the house, and they’ll have shelter.”

Additionally, both Marquez and Sorensen are working as a team to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis by riding bikes. After finding out that one of their friends was diagnosed with the disease, they decided to join the MS Foundation to help raise money for research.

“It’s a fun ride, a couple thousand people do it,” Marquez said. “It’s a good time to be around people.”

To raise money, Sorensen shared the organization on Facebook and granted song requests for whoever donated.

“I started out with a goal of $500 and I went past that in a week,” Sorensen said. “I changed it to $1500.”

For 10 years, Ku has been an active member of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that raises money to help low income families purchase homes. Ku and the other members of the organization participate in events such as sleeping in cardboard boxes to experience the hardships, and also helps repair the homes of nearby veterans to give them a better place to live.