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A Suitcase Full of Hope

Doricelys Martinez’s gift of service was born out of both adversity and love, and she pours that into her work today in Fort Worth’s homeless community.

By Myriam Gonzalez

One packed suitcase, bound for an opportunity. Another suitcase, full of hope. While a suitcase symbolizes time away from home, for some, it can be the catalyst that paves the way toward a home. With a red ticket and a suitcase, Southlake resident Doricelys Martinez is changing the lives of the Fort Worth homeless community through Helping Hands 4 the Homeless North Texas — a local nonprofit that provides food, clothing and other essential items to residents in need. 

Origin story

Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Doricelys honed her strong work ethic early in childhood as she spent time helping her dad on the family farm and delivering food orders of rellenos de papa, empanadillas and pastelitos to local restaurants and convenience stores for her grandfather’s food factory. “I would love going with my dad in the van to deliver the orders,” she recalls. 

While she holds fond memories of her early days, all that would change when her younger brother, born with a chronic kidney disease, required surgery. After a local doctor recommended Children’s Medical Center Dallas as the best place to have the surgery done, Doricelys’ mother, Carmen, began researching and planning the trip.

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