“Not all heroes wear capes” is a popular phrase we have all heard, especially throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. Nurses, teachers, food services employees, field workers have all been heroes throughout this hardship, without seeking recognition for their diligent work. Diane Talamantez of United Way carries the torch of community heroism. Her work as an administrator with Bexar Necessities which is a program that “works in our community by connecting service providers to an electronic bulletin board via an eMail listserv, which allows the service providers to post requests for difficult to locate resources and access up to the minute information about service availability and or changes from other providers.”
The program currently has 2,200 members and “participants consist of nonprofit organizations, school districts, colleges/universities, government agencies, hospitals and faith-based communities in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.” Though her work with United Way began in 2004, Talamantez has been the administrator of the Bexar Necessities program of community resources within United Way for the last 10 years. She is able to connect community advocates with the resources needed to aid those they are advocating for such as Rose Orozco of the Edgewood ISD Police Community Resource Unit who was the advocate for a grandmother who lost both her daughters within the last six months. The grandmother, who is now raising three of her daughters’ children, was in need of resources and assistance to care for her grandchildren. Talamantez, thus, connected Orozco to the aid needed so this family did not have to suffer more than they already had.
“Seeing stories and being able to connect with organizations that we help fund, actually meeting the people who are receiving the services made me realize that I needed to do more in the community…what drives me is just being able to help someone, whether it’s finding a job or connecting them with resources that helped them.”
Talamantez, who is a single mother, had to live paycheck-to-paycheck at one point, and who was on unemployment at one time, understands what it is like to need and seek out resources within the community. Now, she is assisting others, just as others have helped her throughout her journey.
Ramon Chapa Jr. of Reflection International Ministries who is part of the Bexar Necessities network states that Talamantez is “like the nucleus of this program because of all the help provided to hundreds of people within our community…she’s a true servant and disciple in today’s generation.” Chapa appreciated that the reason why he is able to reach and assist so many people is due to the great efforts Talamantez puts forth.
“I’ll never stop saying that I love my job because not a lot of people could say they go to their job and they actually love what they do, and that’s what makes me get up everyday,” Talamantez states as she reflects of the many stories of aid she has been a part of.
“God has led me here for a reason. Have faith in God and never lose faith,” Talamantez adds.
We look forward to seeing the enduring work Talamantez will continue for our gente.