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"Lil" Joe Hernandez
Name: "Lil" Joe Hernandez
Family: Wife, Sherry; sons, Armando, 6, and Joseph, 4
Occupation: Fabricator, building campers.
How long have you lived in the Yuba-Sutter area? Since 2000; moved here from San Jose.
Hobbies, interests: My family, Clampers, Toy Run, the motorcycle community.
For what groups do you volunteer? The Original Yuba-Sutter Toy Run for the past 10 years. Over the past years, we have given 19,000 to 20,000 toys to local kids. Sometimes, if they get that one toy or one gift that shows someone cares, it could turn things around for them.
We try to say we get a month off, but as soon it's over in December, we start collecting for the following year.
I am part of the ECV Clampers. Sometimes we have a bad reputation and we have to fight through this.
We do things all year long: a monthly freeway cleanup on Highway 70 from Feather River Boulevard to Olivehurst Avenue — a couple of years ago Caltrans named the group Volunteer of the Year — place plaques at local historical sites, helped a 12-year-old attain his Eagle Scout rank.
We don't ask for recognition for what we do; we do it because that's who we are.
I have been a member of the Sons of the Legion at the American Legion Linda Post 807 for eight years — though I didn't serve in the military, my father and grandfather did. The Sons do the upkeep at the hall, the physical labor.
With Bike Around the Buttes, I help coordinate the event's one lunch/rest stop on the 100-mile course. I make sure everything they need is provided.
I'm getting my hair and beard cut at this year's Relay for Life in Yuba City. Four years ago, I cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love.
When I first moved here, I went to a meeting of a motorcycle rights group. Through that I met the Toy Run people, from there ... the American Legion, then Bike Around the Buttes. It's all connected.
How do you fit volunteering into your schedule? I do what I can. I try to keep my family part of it, so the boys can see this is the thing to do. It is good to help others.
How did you start volunteering? After moving here, I wasn't doing the dumb stuff anymore; I needed something else to occupy my time. I didn't have my sons yet, but as my family came about, I decided not to stop — I'm taking them with me.
Words of advice: Volunteering is really not bad; all it is is a little bit of time and effort. To help one or two people, it's worth your time in the long run. If you just do something, it's better than nothing.
Quote: "I want someone to see what I do and help. You don't have to have money, just want to be able to give."