The Gilbert and Gloria Palomares family of Storm Lake was the first to pledge $500 in response to a direct mail effort for Project AWAYSIS Pledge Week.
With their pledge, the Palomares family will have their name engraved on a brick that will become part of a donor recognition area in Project AWAYSIS.
Gloria and Gilbert, who moved to Storm Lake in 1994 to take jobs at IBP, now Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., are representative of many of the people who have moved to Storm Lake from elsewhere and have been working hard to make a better community. Gilbert, originally from San Bernardino, Calif., works in the ag industry while Gloria, originally from Mexico, works at Sara Lee. They have two children, Gilbert, Jr., 12, who attends Storm Lake Middle School and Monica, 6, who attends South Elementary.
Gloria said she came home from work one day and her husband told her about the request for the Project AWAYSIS donation. "He said we should do it," Gloria said. "It would be a good thing for the city. It's going to be a good thing for all the families here in Storm Lake. We just wanted to do something. I think it's good for everybody, for the good of the community."
Gloria said it helped her and her husband to decide to donate to Project AWAYSIS when they found that they could make payments rather than paying the whole amount at once.
Gloria also sees a big benefit for her children from Project AWAYSIS.
"They're going to have more fun," Gloria said. "They're going to do different things than they do now."
Gloria also thinks Project AWAYSIS is going to help Storm Lake economically. "I think there will be more jobs," she said.
To say that Gloria was surprised upon learning that she and her husband were the first ones to make a pledge to Project AWAYSIS would be putting it mildly. "I never thought we would be the first ones," Gloria said.
Gloria also said that she and her husband wanted to make the point that Hispanic people want to help make Storm Lake a better community.
"I hope it will take away some of the bad things that people think of Hispanic families," Gloria said.