Strengthening Communities: Bertha Jimenez

At 91, Bertha Jimenez ranks as Mission of Mercy’s most seasoned volunteer. She has dedicated her time since 1997 faithfully serving as a medical interpreter primarily at the Mesa clinic.

A dear friend introduced her to Mission of Mercy and Bertha saw that the need for Spanish- speaking interpreters was great. As a teacher’s aide in Los Angeles Unified School District for many years, Bertha did a fair amount of interpreting throughout her career, so she decided to give the volunteer interpreter role a try.

Mission of Mercy turned out to be a perfect fit, and Bertha has since dedicated thousands of hours to assisting Mission of Mercy patients and strengthening her local community over the past 23 years.

“I enjoy working with people,” Bertha says. “The patients who don’t speak English are very glad to find that there is someone who will speak their language and help them get their health matters taken care of. You can see the change in their attitudes right away.” The pandemic and her personal health has been a primary concern for Bertha and her daughter, as well as her Mission of Mercy family.

“I’ve moved to volunteering at the Chandler clinic where the space is larger and I feel safe,” Bertha says. “I’ve worked all my life since I was a little girl, and I don’t know what I would do without my volunteer work to fill my time. There is always a need for what Mission of Mercy does. It’s not something that goes away.”

Elisa, Bertha’s adult daughter who drives her to the clinic when she volunteers, adds, “I’m very proud of my mom and I admire her commitment to Mission of Mercy. It’s awesome!”