Army veteran finds help and hope at Tarrant-area food bank – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Frank Castillo is the man in the Tarrant area food bank coolers who keeps track of food and makes his time count.

“I like anything that has numbers. I have a photographic memory when it comes to numbers. That’s why I like working here. Everything is numbers. Boxes. Locations. Weights. Everything is. numbers, and I love it, ”said Castillo, who was so good at algebra, it led to a college scholarship.

He missed the opportunity to join the National Guard and then the US Army. He spent eight years in the military before returning to civilian life.

“I’ve had jobs at bigger companies; I’ve made a lot of money with companies. And I’ve never, never looked forward to going to work once like I do here,” said Castillo.

Being here is a complete time for Castillo. He found the Tarrant area food bank a year ago, not knowing it would be the resource to help change his life.

“I didn’t have a job. I started standing in line, getting food because I didn’t have to eat. It was very difficult for me to pay my bills,” he said. -he declares.

In 2020, Castillo’s landscaping business was falling apart. A client suggested that volunteering at a mobile food bank pantry might lift her spirits.

“He found himself in a difficult situation. And I suggested to him, “Frank, you know what I’m doing, but you don’t. Let me invite you to come join us on a volunteer opportunity because volunteering makes you feel better; when you can do something for someone else, ”recalled Castillo client Jim Macphearson, TAFB vice president of development.

Macphearson has done more for Castillo. He gave her an advance on a landscaping job so Castillo could pay his bills. But it was on that first visit to the mobile pantry at Herman Clark Stadium in Fort Worth that he discovered resources to get back on his feet.

As Castillo volunteered, he realized he could get food for himself and his neighbors. Even at his most desperate, the Army veteran was pondering how he could help others.

A year later, the 57-year-old is working full-time at the Tarrant area food bank. He has a stable salary and benefits, and a job that reminds him of how far he has come.

“I participated in the Herman Clark food drives, and it’s very, very close to my heart,” he paused. “It’s very close to my heart because I used to stand in line for food. And now I’m giving it away.”

Here’s how Castillo describes the man he was then and who he is now.

“A broken Frank. You would have met a desperate person,” he said. “And then you would have met a person who was grateful because complete strangers came to my aid.”

“He wanted to do things on his own. And I said we do it on our own but you pay back. And you have such a strong heart, such a strong work ethic. And that’s what you do. we are looking for people, ”Macphearson said of the opportunity at TAFB

Castillo will never forget those who helped him, the gentle strangers who pushed him on the path to the future.

He encourages others who are going through difficult times to go out and volunteer. Putting others ahead of yourself can lead to something good.

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