Our Story

Established in 2017, the Love Is... team was a trio of women who wanted nothing more than to help out 30 senior citizens to not feel so lonely during the holidays. 30 turned into 50 and 50 into 100. By the end of their first holiday season the Love Is... team had 168 senior citizens on the list and with 98 volunteers they all received a gift. When the season ended the trio had already amassed a small following who were earnest for the next year and they had to admit, so were they. There was something about the smiles and the thank you's.

Boy are they glad they didn't stop, the next year they more than doubled the number of senior citizens they gave gifts to and did roughly the same for their volunteers. 400 seniors and 168 volunteers later, there was no way this band of women was breaking up anytime soon.

When deciding what to call themselves the team bounced around idea after idea until it came in the form of a community member telling us that what we do is what love is. 

And our mission is to inspire unity through celebration!

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Lynn Castro

 President

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Lynn is a mother of five who has raised her children in the arms of the Vallejo community. She is a previous fundraiser coordinator for MIT Academy, photographer, and current owner of L&C Handyman. As the mother of a disabled child, she is looking forward to helping those with disabilities but has a warm and open heart for our senior citizens.

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Cheryl Roberts

 Vice President

Favorite Holiday: Halloween

As a licensed para educator and mother of four, Cheryl is a Napa native who now calls Vallejo her home. She is a woman with an arsenal of creative talent and passionate about creating a better community. She hopes to focus particularly on at-risk youth and the kinds of contributions they can make with guidance and a chance.

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Delesa Franchisca

Secretary, Multimedia Specialist

Favorite Holiday: 4th of July

A Vallejo native, born and raised, Delesa attributes her culturally diverse and artistically forward community for inspiring her activist spirit. A self-proclaimed 'Jill-of-all-trades' with a BA in animation, she teaches community art classes for kids and teaches Art and Tech at a local high school. She hopes for Love Is... to become a branch of hope in her community.

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Karina Parada

Treasurer

Favorite Holiday: Birthdays

A UC Berkeley grad with a BA in History and native Vallejoan, Karina is a licensed financial advisor with Transamerica. She has a plethora of interests and ideas for her community. While building a financial plan for Love Is... she would love to see Vallejo ahead of the curve in regards to social programs that are easily available to those who need it most. Karina is most happy when she's helping others and not only works to end isolation in her community but specifically in the community of Bay Area Schools.

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Romalda Esperanza

Board Member, Historian

Favorite Holiday: Dia de los Muertos

A San Francisco State  University grad with a BA in Business and Miss Vallejo 2017 and 2018, Romalda has always loved her hometown and being a part of it. She is an active member of her community, volunteering when she has the time between working communications with the City of Vallejo and working towards her Masters. She loves encouraging other young women like herself to take chances and be more involved in the world. She knows that there is no act of kindness too small and hopes to instill that thought in everyone.

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Milinda 'Milly' Quesada

Board Member, Program Director

Favorite Holiday: Halloween

Milly is a Super Aunt and San Francisco native who now calls Vallejo her home. Milly is a former employee with Area Agency on Aging serving the seniors of Solano / Napa counties, and a former After School Program Coordinator with LifeSTEPS serving Vallejo youth living in low-income communities. She has dedicated herself to continue serving her community in as many ways possible, whether it be helping youth with homework, finding resources for seniors, or helping the homeless with what she can. Her life motto is Dream, Try, and Do Good a motto she hopes to instill in others as part of the Love is…

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Maria Esther Aranda

Board Member

Favorite Holiday: Easter

Retired with three children and nine grandchildren, Maria Esther has called Vallejo her home for 32 years. She has touched on many aspects of life and offers a lifetime of experience. She continues to always be on the move and active in her community and church. She is an advocate for senior citizens in her community, ensuring they are not forgotten.

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