Another reason

Due to the unrelenting damage from multiple head injuries over the past couple of years, I have had to ‘retire’ from my volunteer position with the local food bank.  I would get trained on some new feature or technology in their accounting system, and manage to use it successfully for a short while.  If I wasn’t in for another week or two, I would sit down at the computer, rest my fingers on the keyboard, and …….all I could see was a huge blank wall.  My neurologist assures me that this isn’t unusual for head injuries, but somehow that is cold comfort.

I now just have the ONE volunteer role, at the Santa Clara Senior’s Center, monitoring the use and attendance at the gym.  I have made so many friends in this role, of all ages.  Even though it is technically a “seniors facility”, it also welcomes disabled citizens of Santa Clara as well.  Plus, since our gym is considered one of the BEST in the (San Francisco) Bay area, residents of other cities can join too, but they have to pay a small fee, whereas locals are FREE!

Since I’ve been around home more, I’m enjoying the opportunity to rest more, read more, and have coffee with neighbors.  Lacey likes me to work out in the backyard in the garden, so I try to do that at least once a week, assuming its not pouring rain!  We have had over 300% of our normal precipitation levels in the past six weeks!  The drought is officially CANCELLED, at least in this area!

SOMEHOW the local Volunteer bureau got hold of my name, but I suspect this is from when we first arrived here in California.  On March 25th (his 55th birthday!) Glenn headed off for his first day at Apple.  Suddenly I was alone in a foreign country, far from friends and family.  WHAT was I going to do with myself??  My first reaction was to go online, and search under VOLUNTEER.  That’s when I found my current role at the Seniors Center.

I should know better than to open unsolicited emails, but apparently I didn’t.  This one  really piqued my interest:  a registered charity that started in the times of hurricane Katrina, by providing baby clothes for the victims of hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Now they are focussing their efforts on the children of abject poverty, and have narrowed their intakes to just include baby sizes up to 12 months.   The potential recipients are usually single women, making less that $16000 per year.  They are referred by social workers, hospitals, clinics or local agencies.  Each baby receives approximately 75 items of clothing up to 12 months in size, including hats, booties, bibs, blankets, sleepers, diaper shirts.  Board books are welcomed as well!  The moms will receive an educational ‘new parent’ kit.


We distribute baby clothes in sizes up to 12 months ONLY. Small baby blankets, hats, socks, bibs and board books are welcome too.
Baby clothes are given to new mothers as they leave the hospital. Due to space constraints, hospitals and our organization are not in a position to distribute items such as: car seats, strollers, cribs, baby bottles, maternity clothes, formula, clothing larger than 12 months, Boppy pillows, toys, baby bedding, diapers, bumpers, mobiles, etc… We realize your heart may be in the right place to donate these items, but to keep our mission focused we kindly request that you do not donate these items to our organization. Doing so takes up valuable time that our volunteers could be spending packing the much needed new baby boxes.
Their ad on the internet was intended to recruit people to help sort donated clothes into size and sex, to ensure balanced distribution of items.  Reading about their mandate, I had a better idea for how I could help.  I spend a lot of time checking out the racks in Children’s departments at various retailers here, so I know where the best sales are, and when they are likely to be found!  I volunteer to shop, and buy things with my own money, for donation to the charity, in exchange for tax receipts.
The response from the lady that started this group was fast and enthusiastic.

I am so incredibly grateful for your potential help bringing in baby clothes. I founded this nonprofit 11 years ago and am amazed at the incredible people like you who are helping. Thank you!
We have an ongoing need for baby blankets, sock, hats and clean bibs. If you ever see any at a discount a thrift shop – it would be great to give them to keep homeless babies warm. Just last week, I dropped off to an agency where a new mom bought her baby in to attend a parenting class and the baby had nothing to keep warm. They had boxes from Loved Twice, so now that baby has clothes for the first year of life. Your impact will help babies like little Angela.

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