A vineyard worker, a priest, and two fraternity brothers; in 1967, this unlikely foursome forged a powerful bond that’s stretched across time and geography to impact more than 700,000 lives and growing.
California Human Development (CHD) is a non-profit organization and a leader in the War on Poverty for nearly five decades. First inspired in service to our state’s farmworkers, CHD now serves people of low income from many walks of life-giving 25,000 people a year in 31 Northern California counties a hand up in pursuit of the American Dream.
Entries by CHD
“Just keep going, never give up.” – Jesus Mendoza
If ever there was a story about overcoming obstacles, this is one. Born in Mexico in 1987, Jesus Mendoza came into the world with his feet crossed and tucked up close to his tiny body. He had his first operation at just three weeks old and endured many more, until at age four his heart stopped on the operating table. Doctors shocked him back to life and Jesus’ family put an end to the dangerous procedures.
For seven days and nights, Tesfahiwet walked through the wilds of the notoriously dangerous Sudan—dodging authorities and wild animals alike. It was the beginning of a two-year journey, ultimately leading him to Northern California where he would be reunited with his fiancé and baby daughter.
When Frances Ortiz-Chavez was a teenager, she spent her summers picking California’s peaches and tomatoes. Today, she uses her hands for more delicate work, but the impact of her time spent in the fields remains—and speaks clearly—through the art she creates.