GLIDE Dad of the Day

by Isabel Montilla, Co-Director of Human Resources & Organizational Integration

My dad is from Puerto Rico and I grew up traveling around the states with him as he was in the Air Force for 28 years. We spent four years in the Philippines and five years in England, but we never went to Puerto Rico.

For years I’ve wanted to check out where he grew up, spend time with my people, and give myself a sense of connection to place.

I finally, recently, went to Puerto Rico and spent time in Old San Juan, visited the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, El Yunque, kayaked through a bioluminescent bay, did all the things a tourist does, and I also looked for the places my father eventually told me about.

My father never spoke about his childhood and never shared stories about growing up in San Juan when I was a child. What I discovered when I was preparing for my trip was how poor my father’s family was. My dad grew up in “La Perla” and he learned English while caddying at a golf course. (La Perla is a slum astride the northern historic city wall of San Juan.)

My father shared with me how most nights when he was a child he went to bed hungry. That he and his uncle Santos would be sent out in the evening to beg for food, that the trash bins behind the American base at El Morro were good places to find some, and he laughed when he told me how well he ate one night when he discovered a partially eaten turkey. He told me of the kindness of an Army Officer who he would caddy for who would gave him his sandwiches, and of the waiter who would let him eat any leftovers at the restaurant where he washed dishes. That was then and what is true today is my dad is generous, unconditional, kind and loving.

Gregorio Vega Montilla, father of Isabel Montilla, GLIDE’s Co-Director of Human Resources & Organizational Integration

Dad never spoke about and never forgot being hungry. Over the years I’ve seen his own little acts of generosity to others. He volunteered for years at St. Vincent de Paul in the food pantry, if you asked dad for a dollar he’d give you five, and would never ask what you wanted or needed the money for. He would buy someone he didn’t know a meal, and he has followed strangers to quietly put a twenty dollar bill in their hand.

Because of dad I’m from a family of givers and he is one of the main reasons I am here at GLIDE, and for that I am forever grateful. I celebrate “Goito” every day and I know some of the best parts of me came directly from him.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized
2 comments on “GLIDE Dad of the Day
  1. Karen Coe says:

    This is beautiful, Isabel. Your dad is amazing!

  2. josie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Ever since I read this a week or so ago, it’s stayed with me, reminding me that I have enough, and can afford to share, and give. A small gesture can mean so much to someone else.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

GLIDE Instagram
Join GLIDE at the SF @marchforourlives this Saturday to support young people in demanding #GunControlNow! We'll meet at GLIDE at noon and walk to Civic Center together. Where your GLIDE gear if you have it, and click the link in our profile to read more about why gun control is a priority advocacy issue at GLIDE.
#marchforourlives #parkland #enough #IWillMarch @momsdemand @bradybuzz @sfmagazine @sfchronicle @theonj3 @angelabrown17 @sf_interfaith Today, GLIDE Harm Reduction partnered with @sfaidsfound, SFDPH and SF Homeless Outreach Team to conduct a health care pop-up at a homeless encampment. It was a great community effort and the Harm Redux crew reports that the residents of the camp really appreciated that we were there for them. GLIDE provided HIV/Hep C Testing and counseling. In spite of the rain, 21 people used our testing services, and many more just came to us to talk about their drug use and receive harm reduction counseling.
We're grateful to this crew! Left to right: Paul Harkin, Amber Taylor, Bill Buehlman and Jason Norelli. #rainorshine #harmreduction #healthcareisahumanright #gettested #healthcareforall GLIDE Church invites you to stand up for smart, sensible gun control laws at the San Francisco March For Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24!
WHO: GLIDE Church. And YOU!
WHAT: SF March For Our Lives
WHERE: We will meet at GLIDE at noon and then walk over to Civic Center Plaza together as a group.
WHY: Our children should not have to live in fear of gun violence AT ALL, much less at school. Our teachers should not have to add "taking a bullet" to their job descriptions. We raise our voices in solidarity and demand a safer, more peaceful future for our children, our teachers and our country.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24. The rally starts at 1:00 pm, but we will meet at GLIDE at noon!
Additionally, we will make posters for the rally THIS SUNDAY on March 18 after the 11:00 am Celebration.
If you have any questions, please contact our beloved Rev. Angela Brown at
#ENOUGH #Guncontrol #gunsense #safeschools #parkland #columbine #LasVegas #marchforourlives  @womensmarch @womensmarchbayarea @momsdemand @gabbygiffords @100daysaction @bayresistance @glidefycc @kaye_foster @everytown On Wednesday, the children & teachers from GLIDE's Family, Youth & Childcare Center (FYCC) joined thousands of other students across the nation in the #NationalSchoolWalkout. Our FYCC teachers stress the importance of being community-minded thinkers and global citizens. Demanding #GunControlNow and safety in our schools is an important lesson for our kids, as well as a compassionate and powerful act of solidarity with the #Parklandhighschool students & all victims of school shootings.
Gun control is also a crucial advocacy issue for GLIDE — fighting for our children's education, well-being and their very lives is a direct application of our values and one of the most meaningful efforts to get involved in today.

Much love and support to FYCC and to all the young people across the country who raised their fists in defiance, resistance and mourning. We are with you.
@glidefycc @bayresistance @momsdemand @cityhallsf @100daysaction #keepchildrensafe #safeschools #banassaultweapons #forthekids #ENOUGH #rainorshine

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 24,661 other followers

%d bloggers like this: