February 14, 2016

Valentine Sunday was all pink and red and full of love. Volunteers helped decorate Patterson Hall. Hearts and huge donated pink tissue paper balls decked the walls.

We made pretty flower centerpieces with hearts around them and had a handmade Valentine for each guest. Laura and her son, Colin, and his fifth grade class made lovely cards and brought beautifully decorated gift packages to hand out. Megan and a group of adult friends had also made really nice Valentines and brought them along with new underwear. They helped distribute them as well as volunteer their time.
We had a good chicken pasta dinner. We also sorted and handed out clothing in our patio “clothing store”. The university students loved helping with the store and say they’ll be back.

For some reason I had three seniors needing help this weekend. We have one couple looking for a new location as their apartment building is being sold. She is in a wheelchair and needs first floor access. They’d really like a small 2 bedroom house or nice ground floor apartment. They want to pay around $1,200 or $1,300 since the husband will retire soon and their income will be less than the $5,000 a month they get now. I told her how to search on the computer for housing and did a little searching with her to help her get her started.

Another 64 year old had very little income and has been couch surfing with relatives. We are digging out the resume, improving it, and hoping that someone will hire her. I’m sending her back to some places where she is on the waiting list. She has been a hair stylist for 20 years, can do medical billing, and has taken care of her mother until her mother passed. So she has skills. I told her to take the paper resume around and let people see how fit and clean she is. Applying on line they just look at an age and it is easy to pass someone by because they sound too old.

A third senior woman came to me. She first, and foremost needs mental health services to establish what is real and what is not. When we figure that out we can more easily help to fill her needs. I referred her to Winter Shelter and MHA. Our hearts go out to the young families trying to make ends meet. We helped two with some transportation costs. One man has found a job in Long Beach at the port, but is driving back and forth to Riverside because her family is there and she had a temporary job there where her parents watch the kids. We decided that what they need is to establish closer to long Beach. She is sending her resume to me tonight to work on. We will seek childcare in Long Beach and also see what rental assistance they might be eligible for.

It was a busy Sunday, but good. All the sweethearts were out for dinner, but my husband and I were lucky enough to get into a restaurant for some dinner too after we closed DIC. So it was a good day.