Holding your hand from here…
How it all started …
I had breast cancer in 2010 and during my treatment, a friend, "Carol from TX", was going through the same yucky experience. We became email support pals and she would always sign off with "Holding your hand from here", it was so comforting and so simple. I started using it whenever I heard of someone new having Cancer. I would give them a gift basket with a card signed "Holding your hand from here." I realized I could use this tag line for the three charities I support Cancer, Foster Care and Elder Care.
This past year I had a great opportunity to give back to the downtown San Diego senior citizen community. A colleague from Willis Allen Real Estate, Christine Baker, introduced me to The Friends of Downtown, an organization here in San Diego that supports a program through the Mary and Gary West Senior Center.
The above mentioned was for holiday gift bags for seniors shut in's. I knew it was time to share my story for the greater good. I wrote this letter and set up a Go Fund Me site and used FB to reach my goal!
When I was in the hospital last year for 2 weeks, a friend of mine brought me a stuffed animal. We called him "Finn" after my own Goldendoodle puppy who was at home without me and me without him. Even though I had visitors, there was a lot of alone time and scary time that I snuggled with my new little doggie friend. When I could walk around the hospital for exercise, I noticed many elders with no visitors, alone, sad and scared. It broke my heart and I swore I would give back and pay it forward in some way.
They say when you get old you revert back to your childhood and in many ways get treated like a child. Well what kid didn't love a stuffed animal to keep them company. A dear friend always said to me “Holding your hand from here..." It worked for me and my Cancer friends and I think it works for our elders as well. We want them to know that someone cares and is thinking about them.
It would be great for all elders to have a friend during the holidays. I am reaching out to my local community as well as my extended fb family and friends. The goal would be to get 100 stuffed animals for the Friends of Downtown senior holiday bags. Our plan would be to deliver by December 3rd, 2017.
Thanking you in advance for your generosity,
After just two weeks on Go Fund Me, I was able to collect $500 and found 24 different breeds of small stuffed animals at $4.99 each with free shipping! Mission accomplished, 100 doggie friends for 100 seniors.
100 Holiday Bags for Senior Shut In's - December 3, 2016
A group of FOD "elves" filled 100 holiday gift bags with snacks and personal care items for local senior shut ins. FOD once again provided holiday cheer to our local seniors. We thank our members and community leaders for the donated items and cash contributions. The Gary & Mary West Senior Center delivered these bags through their meal delivery program and the Santa Luz Community Council provided beautiful red holiday bags.