Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coats for Christmas Day

A Bit of History:
The Jewish Community began this tradition many years ago, the thought being that our Christian brothers and sisters were thoroughly engaged with their families on this traditionally family-oriented, gift-giving, feast-full day. It was an easy, natural, joyous gift on the part of our community to provide for those with the greatest need on Christmas Day, since this is not a day that is part of the Jewish tradition. A home-cooked turkey dinner, with all the fixings, was where it all began.

Thirteen years ago, Naomi Blakely and Sheri Eibschutz took over the responsibility for this event as co-chairs, and decided to increase the bounty, from a simple home-cooked meal to a dinner where our guests would leave with gifts, having enjoyed a bit of entertainment, as well. The Grange Hall served us adequately for 5 or 6 years, until their requirement for hall rental exceeded our budget, which was zero. The OddFellows stepped right up and offered the use of their hall, which is our current location, and one for which we are extremely grateful.

The meal is still home-cooked by various members of the community at large, in no way limited to any one religious persuasion. It is now augmented with bread from San Luis Sourdough, pies from Apple Farm and Marie Callender’s, egg nog from Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, and transportation is provided to the event from the homeless shelter courtesy of Ride-On’s van. The trash and recycles are picked up through the additional support of San Luis Garbage.

Once there, our guests are entertained by Billy Foppiano and his pick-up group of local, fabulous musicians. They are then treated to world class Irish dancing, by performers from the Claddagh School of Irish Dance.

They are then led outside, to a covered tent (through the kindness of Sierra Vista Hospital) to receive their gifts: a sleeping bag, a warm, heavy duty jacket, tee-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, underwear, and a personal kit of toiletries. We have also been able to gift them with rain ponchos and umbrellas, through the generosity of the community and by word of mouth. San Luis Camp n Pack has been our angel, giving us prices that make these gifts affordable.

The coats are surplus, when possible, and newly purchased when surplus is not available. They are heavy duty, mid-thigh length warm, ruck-sack like jackets. Last year, one of our guests was overcome with the delicious meal and generosity, and lay down, under the overhang behind the hall, to cuddle up in his jacket and sleeping bag, happier than he could remember being.

Several years back, Stephan Lamb, Cal Poly’s Associate Director of Student Life and Leadership, encouraged us to involve the younger generation in this endeavor. The AmeriCorps volunteers now assist us with organizing, making phone calls, and assisting with logistics, such as contacting businesses for donations and encouraging student involvement, in addition to whatever other tasks we think of, which they undertake happily and willingly.

We are blessed beyond measure to live in such a warm and giving community, and are filled with pride and gratitude to be a part of this very special event!


Monday, October 25, 2010

San Luis Obispo Soroptimists' Women's Opportunity Award

Project Summary
The San Luis Obispo club, part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. San Luis Obispo Soroptimists participate in Soroptimist’s major service project, the Women’s Opportunity Awards. The program provides women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. The award can be used for tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education-related expense. This program, which begins on the club level, was created in 1972 to help women improve their ability to provide for their families. Each year, more than $1 million is provided in cash grants to women in need. Since the program’s inception in 1972, approximately $15 million in Women’s Opportunity Awards has been disbursed to about 25,000 women throughout the countries served by Soroptimist International of the America’s.

Awards Levels
Club-level award amounts vary (Soroptimist International of San Luis Obispo presents allocates up to $3,000 to the Women’s Opportunity Award each year). Club-level recipients then become eligible for region-level awards granted in each of Soroptimist’s 28 regions. The first place region recipients then become candidates for one of three $10,000 finalist awards.

Applications are available from the Cuesta College Financial Aid Office, or by contacting Mary Sansone at (805) 550-9461. Completed applications are due December 15.

Soroptimist International of San Luis Obispo raises funds for the award from its members and from communit fundraising activity.

Soroptimist International of San Luis Obispo
Soroptimist International of San Luis Obispo is a volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Founded in 1987, the San Luis Obispo club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas. San Luis Obispo members join with almost 100,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

California Scenic Coast Doll Club

Great appreciation to the California Scenic Coast Doll Club for a generous donation to Womenade! $500 from the organization was shared to help further our outreach to local people in need! Special thanks to Therese Hanlon for inviting Womenade to the doll club's October meeting.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What You Have Shared Since August 19th!

August 23: Birth certificate so baby can receive Medi-Cal. Referral: PHN San Luis ($17)

August 31: Diapers, wipes, and gas card for mom whose husband has left the family. Referral: Tania Resendiz, Family Advocate ($142.72)

September 2: Dental treatments for two children. Referral: Cecelia, CHDP ($248.60)

September 2: Emergency dental treatment for young boy. Referral: Cecelia, CHDP ($300)

September 2: Food, clothing, and shoes for family whose father has had his workweek reduced to one day only. Referral: Cecelia, CHDP ($300)

September 6: White dress shirt and t-shirts for student to participate in Los Osos Middle School choir. Referral: Tania Resendiz, Family Advocate, shopping by Julie Klopping ($34.22)

September 8: Refrigerator for recently widowed mother of 2 adopted children; the family has been using a cooler for 2 months since she cannot afford to replace her appliance. The mother does not qualify for assistance since she is working part-time. Referral: Mara Whitten, CAPSLO ($486.15 - rebate to return $200)

September 8: Baby swing and sturdy stroller for baby in family that is struggling. Referral: PHN, shopping, Julie Klopping ($62.87)

September 12: Replacement tools for a self-employed gardener who is barely able to meet her needs. She has no garage, and keeps her tools in her truck, completely covered. These tools were stolen this week, and she is left with no way to work. Referral: Naomi Blakely ($400)

September 15: Child safety gates for 2 young toddlers. Referral: PHNs, San Luis ($47.83)

September 16: Gas card for family of 3-year-old boy undergoing tests on his brain at UCLA. Referral: CCS ($163.65)

September 16: Partial dental treatment payment for young girl; Dr. Tran is working with the family on monthly payments for the remainder. Referral: County ($223.72)

September 17: Required fingerprinting for mother of 4, on a limited income, so that she can volunteer in her daughters’ classes. Referral: PHN, South County ($58)

September 22: Double stroller for family in crises. Referral: Erin Brzykcy, PEEP STARS, C.L. Smith and purchased and delivered by Sharynn Chirpich ($25)

September 23: Food and gas for grandmother who has had to give up her job to assume care of her grandchildren ages 9 months and 2 years.. Eventually Social Services will assist her, but it has been over a month, and no money yet, so she is desperate. Double stroller so she can leave home with both children. Referral: PHN, San Luis ($400 and $92.44)

September 27: Rent for mother of 4 whose husband just left her to live with his girlfriend. She has a one-year-old and a 12-year-old with Asberger’s as well as 2 older children. The mom is on disability for cancer treatments. Referral: Shelia, Mountainbrook ($500)

September 28: Rent for single abused mom with 3 children who has been recently laid off. Referral: Lisa Martinez, Women’s Shelter ($500)

September 29: Baby monitor for parent of new baby. Referral: PHN, San Luis and shopping by Linda Jankay ($25.19)

September 29: Car seat for new baby girl. Referral, PHN, San Luis and shopping by Linda Jankay ($72.88)

September 29: High chair for 9-month-old of a single dad. Referral: PHN, South County and shopping by Linda Jankay ($54.38)

Donated as of September 30, 2010: $WW88,872.01

Needs Filled: $ 6,820.63

Balance June 30, 2010 $ 3,725.63

Potlucks: October 5, at Linda Bishop’s; November 9, Cypress Ridge, Cypress Room - hosted by Diana Henderson and Nell Quijano.

October 1: Factory second refrigerator for family who has been living out of coolers for months. Referral: PHN, North County ($416.71 with $200 rebate pending)

October 1: Beginning wart treatment at the Community Health Center for a 5th grade girl with warts on her hands and arms. They pay on a sliding scale at the center, but treatment is still prohibitive for this family. Referral: Mo McGee, nurse, San Luis Coastal ($100)

October : 3 alarm watch to remind an elementary student with diabetes to check his blood sugar 3 times a day. Referral: Mo McGee, nurse, San Luis Coastal ($)

Items Donated By: 2 strollers from Hospice Partners; newborn boy clothing, blankets, toys, books, formula, and diapers from Vivian Levy and Hospice Partners, Pam McKiernan, Francine Johnston, Lisa Ray, Diana Foch, Jackie Miller, Susan Updegrove, Kat Tuculet, Marylou Gooden, Marty Thomas, Denise Barilla, Rose Fowler, Linda Holland, Arlene Versaw, Diana Henderson, and Ann Jones; bathtub, swing, bouncer, clothes from ?, Lainie Wachter, Carol Devore, Janie Holland, and Beth and David Owen; car seat, Denise Barilla; towels from Pat Meyer: 2 double strollers, high chair, potty, clothes, shoes and socks for small child; bouncer for infant from Merry-G-Round scrip; wipes for students in San Luis schools from Marilyn Banducci, Linda Brady, Susan Updegrove, Rosemary Cleaves; tutoring for a middle school student by Annie Moore and Arlene Yost; baby gate and high chair from Carol Tickner; Halloween costumes to Family Care Network from Miriam Alikhan’s Moms Group; bed from Lyn Bonzi; double stroller from Jerry and Sharynn Chirpich; high chair from Sandy Gillespie; diapers from Marylou Gooden, Linda Griffith, Carol Stern, Mariam Shah, Joanne Smalley, Jean Dyer, Barbara Deil, Michele Hall, Connie Buffa, Debbie Bennett, Lainie Wachter. and Marilyn Fuller; freezer to Grass Roots 2 from Barbara Crawford; infant carseat from Susie Miner; 2 cribs, 2 port-a-cribs, two high chairs, and other infant furniture from Tricia and Mary Gregoire - items immediately went out to meet desperate needs via PHNs and Family Care Network; baby clothes from Fran Harrell; Total 1st Quarter, September 30, 2010 - $3,014.18. Grocery cards from Sara Cress; diapers for Family Care Network from Michele Hall, Naomi Blakely; water bottles and bags from Lyn Bonzi,

Funds Donated By: Henry Bull Foundation, Mary Parker, Nancy Shearer, Diane Wettlaufer, Susie Miner, Melaleuca, Colleen Spafford, Mary Parker, Kathy Long, Diane Wettlaufer, Stephanie Coray, Melaleuca, Roberta Filadelfia, Julie Schultz, Naomi Blakely, Diana Foch, Ros McQuade, Gail Sears, Marylou Gooden, Joyce Hunter, Sharynn Chirpich, Marilyn Fuller, Judy Williamson, Penny Porter, Elizabeth Curren, Maribeth Peterson, Marianita Borgstrom, Helaine Wachter, Connie Buffa, Jacquelyn Miller, Jeannette Powles, Helen Salerno, Carol Devore, Elaine Gardiner, Judy Long, Tess Mathews, Susan Updegrove, Kat Tuculet, Vivian Levy, Jacqueline Edmiston, Peggee Davis, Karen Baylor, Barbara Crawford, Stacy Gregory, Shelia Hardy, Karen Daniel, Leona Anderson, Lola Zybura, Cypress Ridge Fitness, Nell Quijano, Margaret Budd, Joy Pickell, Jean Dyer, Linda Osty, Lynda Burnsed, Candyce Espinoza, Leona Sullivan, Ladonna Rinn, Margaret Donaldson, Nancy Gerrish, Sue Tsao, Dale Imming, Patricia Negrete, Kitty Rice, Dianne Kring-Sonksen, Helen Powell, Loretta Sonnabend, Marla Eaton, Betty LaPlante, Betty Symons, Kathryn Forenza, Barbara Deil, Virginia Kenny, Susan Chandler, Pat Okura, Mona Tucker, Diana Henderson, Patricia Streng, Rosemary Cleaves, Arlene Versaw, Madeline Stevenson, Janie Holland, Mary Parker, Julie Jones, Sally Equinoa, Carol Stern, Carol Tickner, Kathy Greer, Elyse Ungar, Wendy Daly, Linda Bishop, Diane Wettlaufer, D’Elaine Patrick, Roberta Kassak, Melaleuca, Cathy Le Moine, Gale Garrison, Dianna Jackson. Total 1st Quarter, September 30, 2010 - $7,408.55. Mary Parker, Diana Foch, Julie Schultz, Linda Bishop, Marilyn Fuller, Marylou Gooden, Francine Johnston, Sara Cress, Judy Williamson, Naomi Blakely, Wendy Daly, Jeanne Dorn, Kathy Long, Ros Mcquade, Lyn Bonzi, Helma Smulders, Rosemary Cleaves,