Volunteer Spotlight – Jenepher Castillo

Lone Survivor Foundation volunteers are integral members of our team, allowing us to be in all of the places we need to be and accomplish all of the things that have to happen. But often they’re more than that. They become part of the LSF family and they inspire us to keep pushing forward. We’d like for you to meet someone that is very special to us here at LSF:  Jenepher Castillo.

My name is Jenepher Castillo. I’m a native Houstonian, and single mom to 2 really awesome kids – an 11 year old daughter and 22 year old son. I also have a stepdaughter and stepson, who are a very important part of our family. I’m the oldest of 3, born to parents who are still married after 44 years. I think that’s where I get my stubbornness and tenacity from – we don’t give up easily in my family! This is why I can identify so strongly with the “Never Quit” attitude within the Veteran community. I’ve been a proud volunteer with the Lone Survivor Foundation for almost 3 years now.

I came to LSF as a newly widowed Veteran’s wife, after responding to a Facebook post asking for volunteers. Five months into my grieving, on a cold, rainy day in January, I walked into their office and met the people who would help me find my new passion…a passion that quickly transcended into a mission with a higher purpose after my husband’s suicide.

Since then, I’ve volunteered at all kinds of events with LSF – the Houston Gala, the Precision Rifle Match, Texas Vet Fest, Crystal Beach BBQ Cookoff, Lone Star Rally, and many others. I truly enjoy having the opportunity to explain what the Foundation is about, because the more people who know what LSF does, the more support the Foundation has, and through that, the more help they are able to provide.

I have to say that talking with Veterans and their families is probably my favorite part of it though. As a Combat Veteran’s wife, caregiver, and now a suicide survivor, I often find common ground and can easily identify with these wonderful people; many times, sharing what I lived through with my husband helps them through their own struggles. I have made lifelong friends through my experiences volunteering, some of whom are past retreat attendees.

Through programs like the LSF retreats, our Veterans are finding therapeutic resources unavailable to them through the VA. Having spent many years navigating that system, and never really being offered anything that would prove truly effective, I know firsthand how invaluable those resources are to the lives and families of Veterans who struggle. My husband used to say something that has never left me… “Without hope, you have nothing.”

Behind the doors of the Lone Survivor Foundation, hope is restored. Families are restored. Lives are saved.

Because of that, I will Never Quit

 

If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up at www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org/volunteer.