Alice es Buena Gente: Hector Chapa
Alice es Buena Gente is a special feature for the month of June to take a step back after a challenging year and honor the everyday people that do big gestures with humble intentions.
For more than 20 years Hector Chapa has worked in the food pantry at Alice Volunteer Services (AVS) located on Main Street in downtown Alice.
Chapa has been a part of the Alice community all of his life. He was a longtime employee for Flournoy Oil and Gas before an accident pushed him into early retirement.
Chapa met with the late Bud Smith, one of the founding members of AVS, that led to a new chapter of Chapa's life one of service to the AVS organization and to the community.
“There’s not a part of our organization that doesn’t benefit from (Chapa's) dedication," said president Bonnie Whitley, the daughter of the late Bud Smith. "He's ready to lend a hand for any job. He is at the pantry every day, checking the freezers, maintaining an inventory, checking the facility, and is the known helping hand, passing out food on an emergency basis."
"He also coordinates our delivery crew team, meets the delivery trucks from the Food Bank, and our wholesale provider, Brenham, helps unload, organize and stock shelves. It would be very difficult for our crew of volunteers to do what we do without Hector," she added.
The food pantry has adapted to the pandemic and now serves more people than ever before.
AVS started in 1983 by a group of men and women to help people locally from the economic downturn caused by the oil crash of that era. The pandemic alongside the current oil crisis in South Texas left AVS in a need to serve the community unlike any years past, according to Whitley. To accommodate the demand AVS is now open only one day a week on (Wednesdays), but Chapa is known around town for being there most days of the week.
"I try to help the people that need a little extra food during the week," Chapa said. "I know the ones that are struggling. They see my car in the parking lot and know I'm here to help."
"It feels good to help people, there's a feeling you get when you know you're doing good for others," Chapa added.
That's why Hector Chapa is Alice es Buena Gente.
AVS has not slowed down post-pandemic and currently serves high numbers of people. Now that school is out for summer, AVS knows many families in the community will need more food to feed their children. Money donations go much further than actual food donations because AVS can purchase items in bulk at much lower costs than an individual buying canned goods.
How to donate:
Money can be donated at the facility and by mail.
Alice Volunteer Services
Street address: 311 E. Main St., Alice, TX 78332
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1966, Alice, TX 78333
Phone: (361) 664-1015