Helping Others For A Cause
By: Ana-Cristina Gonzales, Chief Operations Officer, St. William Catholic Church
I am passionate about helping people.
I am passionate about connecting good people with other good people and to good causes. I am passionate about helping others, whether it’s helping them and encouraging them to grow as leaders or helping them raise money for their passions or even helping them achieve their goals.
Igniting My Passion
These passions ignited when I began fundraising for different causes. It was an incredible feeling to bring people together who cared about the same issues and get them to the point of wanting to contribute financially to that cause. Now, everyone has a different relationship with money, but when someone gives of their treasure to an organization where they will not directly benefit, well… I think that’s magic. It’s a selfless act.
Money Raising And Building Relationships
When I would tell others that I was a fundraiser, I would always get the comments of, “I could NEVER do that. I could NEVER ask people for money. Don’t you get tired of begging for money?” My first response was always something to the effect of, “Of course you could do this, because it’s not about you. It’s about the cause.” Raising money is primarily about relationship… I like to call it “Friend”-raising. You want to bring someone along to get to know about the cause so that they become inspired to give. As in all relationships, it doesn’t always work out the way you had planned to OR it works out even better! You may not get the donation, but you get the introduction to another friend. There’s always a win-win, but first and foremost, you have to remember it’s not about you.
I have seen incredible things happen when people are inspired by a cause. I have been able to see conversions in people, when things may have gotten off to a rocky start. I have been able to see a building come to life because people came together and decided this was a need. It’s truly an honor.
Helping others was something that was ingrained in me through my Catholic faith. One of my favorite scripture verses is “To whom much is given, much is expected.” With that comes a responsibility to serve others with the talents that have been freely given to me. My passion in helping others shows itself in different ways, but I take the call to use my talents to build up the good in this world seriously and invite others to join me. Won’t you join me? How can I help you?
Ana-Cristina is the Chief Operations Officer for Saint William’s Catholic Church in Round Rock and the first woman, first Hispanic COO in the Diocese of Austin. She holds a BS in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Texas and a Masters in Communications and Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She completed building a 37,000+ square-foot parish center and, yes, it almost killed her. She began as Development Director (raising the money) and was promoted to COO (building the building). When she is not spending time with her amazing nieces, she can be found recuperating from all the work fun!
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