We consider it a blessing to introduce the heart and soul of our Peterson community, Renee Gonzalez! Many of you know Renee as the hilarious office manager at Peterson Elementary.
She is so much more than that to us. She encompasses everything wonderful in the world; a mom, sister, daughter, aunt, employee, friend and true fighter for the underdog. Some of you might not know day in and day out what she accomplishes for many of the children and families in our school community.
If there’s a child in our school that goes without Christmas gifts, school supplies, backpacks, food, and even housing, it would only be because she does not know that child had a need. She’s always functioned well below the radar in helping students and families with the things that most families take for granted. It’s challenging to comprehend or understand how much she’s done to support families in this way.
It is amazing how far she will go to pour her heart and soul into making sure our children are so very well taken care of in any way that is needed. Some of us have seen the tears she has shed over the emotional and financial struggles for some of the families she continues to help. She’s very skilled at keeping that to herself because of her humble nature. She carries all of these students and their needs very close to her heart. Renee was nominated as a “life changer of the year,” by our principal, as a testament to her service to our school. Having explained this, her family has needs now that she’s been struck with cancer. Yes, I’ve said that horrible C word; the one thing that terrifies us all. Even worse for Renee, she’s a single mom of the most incredible child you will ever meet! Most of us have had the pleasure of meeting Ricky on our school campus. He has taken after his mother and given countless hours in service to his community including our school where he attended in earlier years.
If you get the opportunity to meet her son you will understand his servants heart completely. We can all only pray that our children grow to become as kind, responsible and considerate as her son Ricky, the absolute product of a loving and selfless mother who has sacrificed so much for her child, and has done it on her own. If you have had the pleasure of spending time with them together, you understand their special relationship as mother and son, but also their funny/entertaining dynamic, which is a “show” in itself.
Purpose and point of writing all this down, and sending this out far and wide is that this wonderful woman needs OUR help now. We have a huge list of things she needs, such as, medical bills, income replacement, and preparing for Ricky’s future. She wants to take care of everything she possibly can for her son, as she always has. Similar to all Renee has done for so many; it’s now time to pay it forward! Renee needs to focus on herself, her son and surviving cancer for as long as possible. This will be a struggle for her, not because she isn’t a fighter, but because she has never been the one to ask for the help. We will take on the task to do it for her.