Community Foundation Sonoma County welcomes José Castro Gambino as our new Community Impact Officer!
José’s dedication to the nonprofit field stems from his desire to give back to his community. Born and raised in Healdsburg, José recognizes the need for nonprofit work in underserved communities, seeing as there weren’t many services available to him and his family as he grew up.
José began his nonprofit work shortly before the 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County. At this time, José witnessed a real need for community support and extra resources. To José, giving back and improving people’s overall quality of life is very important. He believes that the key to doing so begins with addressing the underlying issues affecting people’s quality of life, such as access to healthcare, good education, and livable wages. By tackling these issues, one can help elevate people’s lives.
José joins the Community Foundation from Corazón Healdsburg, where he served as their Family and Resource Center Manager and provided on-the-ground support for children and families. During his time at Corazón, José assisted in the completion of disbursement for the $750,000 American Red Cross Fund, which supported families in need of direct cash assistance to help cover bills, rent, medical expenses, and more.
Before joining Corazón, José dedicated his time to La Luz Center, where he worked as part of their Economic Advancement team. At La Luz, José helped navigate English classes before and after the pandemic, compelling him to lend a hand in adapting the classes for online learning. José also assisted with economic mobility for small local business owners, supporting them as they applied for microloans, a program funded in part by CFSC in 2020.
In addition to holding a Masters in Public Health, José is also trained to facilitate healing and wellness groups through the Sonoma County Resilience Collaborative; a program also funded through our Resilience Fund grants program. Through that training, he learned about the importance of navigating mental health systems and barriers.
José’s role as Community Impact Officer allows him to step into a different side of the nonprofit field, where he will further collaborate with nonprofits across multiple sectors, including education, environment, wildfire and disaster relief, and many others.
José comes from a large family of eight, where the value of working collaboratively was instilled in him from a young age. In his downtime, José enjoys going on walks and runs that allow him to enjoy the beautiful scenery Sonoma County has to offer. José also enjoys exploring the best of what the county has to offer from finding hidden spots along the Russian River, to hidden gem restaurants and wonderful wine tasting experiences.