Community Connectors show their appreciation for Postal Workers, who this year had to battle heat and smoke, bad air, a blizzard of political mail and ballots, and of course COVID 19 to bring the mail to our doorsteps. Please take a minute to thank the mail carrier who keeps those cards, letters and packages coming.
People & Stories
We particularly enjoyed this Monday morning post from Margaret Graf, reflecting on 2020 as it draws to a close…
Dear Powers That Be (PTB):
I have been a loyal & normally enthusiastic user of your yearly products for a very long time, usually with only minor grumps & complaints. This past year was the final straw. Frankly, 2020 did not measure up to my expectations & in fact, was one of the worst ever. I admit that I may have been a bit overly enthusiastic in the beginning, it being the start of a new decade & all, but really…it began to fall apart almost from the beginning & only got worse as time went on, pell-melling me & all your other users through a whole year with political farces, a world wide pandemic, weather calamities, fire disasters, extreme social injustice & fatal protests fueling a depressive mood that has brought us to our knees, fairly weeping in despair & crying for mercy. When I say “we” I mean the people, here in U,S, around the world, humans everywhere subjected to an onslaught of your whims & the defective product you foisted upon us. In short, 2020 was too complicated to use, impossible to assemble, came with no warnings or directions on use & was just plain defective nearly from the beginning. The pandemic was the really ‘big one’ wiping out a serious number of us, causing businesses to close, jobs lost, long food lines & despair. Not satisfied with that, you sent along wildfires, floods (never in the same place of course) & economic penalties to boot. Really?? What did we do to deserve this shabby & unconscionable treatment at your hands?? THERE WAS NO LETUP ALL YEAR LONG! Only in the last month, have we begun to be able to counteract your product & slow the disintegration of the whole mess. Thanks to the cleverness of our scientists, we now have 2 (with more on the way shortly) counter-measures (we call them vaccines) to this horror you have visited upon us.
SO…in the spirit of negotiation & recognizing our long standing loyalty to the years you have been kind enough to bless us with in the past, I propose a negotiation, without which I sincerely believe we will have lost all faith in your product & will have to look elsewhere for our future. You are not the only planet in the universe, you know.
I sincerely ask…no demand, on the part of all my fellow humans, that in order to show your good faith you grant us a refund. Minimally, it should reflect the period of use from March-December, when we were hardest hit & before we began to suspect the inadequacy & continued dangerous consumption of your product. I propose that you grant a refund, to each & everyone of us, beginning January 1, 2021, in the form of adding 10 months to the end of each of our lifetimes on Planet Earth to compensate for the period noted above. It is a fair & equitable solution, with little cost or effort to you, not nearly adequate to compensate us for the misery you have cost, but as an expression of your good will toward the future. Please take this demand seriously and reply forthwith.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors. They volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Christine as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for Cayuga.
Christine Arenas’ last seven years of retirement have been richer and healthier thanks to activities with us and the relationships she’s built here.
She’s participated in the exercise class three days a week and tried chair yoga, dance classes and Tai Chi. She’s made many good friends and even brought her mother-in-law to join so that the whole family could benefit!
Christine loved learning from real authors and poets in the Litquake classes, In addition, she shared stories with friends in the memoir writing class.
She spent most of her life in this neighborhood — 44 years living in the house her grandparents bought in 1936. In recent years, she’s enjoyed seeing the program grow to include arts and crafts classes, holiday and birthday parties, health and safety classes and field trips.
Members of this community inspire Christine and give her many reasons to show gratitude for having it in her life, especially during this pandemic. And she’s proud to introduce her grandchildren to ways to give to their community and see they get so much in return.
Two of her grandchildren — Sofia, 6, and Ella, 4 — often join the Wednesday Wave parade. They too spread a little joy to those staying at home.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors. They volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor David as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for the Vision & Hearing Program.
David Munoz Ventura is the Program Supervisor of the Seismic Safety Outreach Program (SSOP). This program of the Community Youth Center educates San Franciscans in emergency preparedness and response.
For the past four years, David has contributed to SSOP. He developed a new curriculum and works within all of the Community Living Campaign neighborhoods.
With his help, we’ve increased emergency readiness participation for seniors and people with disabilities. He helps people at our neighborhood sites (virtually as well) and community events. In addition, David provides free emergency supplies and information.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors. They volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Faye as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for Midtown Terrace.
Faye Vickroy embraces her leadership skills and always steps up to lead, assist and organize projects. The Midtown Terrace Always Active exercise group knows her well. She helps set up and host a much-appreciated break time every week.
Her enthusiasm and energy are genuine and reflect her kindness and generosity. Faye’s dedication to making Midtown Terrace a welcoming space shows up in many ways. Mostly, being a good neighbor is the little things: bringing flowers or lemons to some neighbors or taking dinners to sick individuals.
Her involvement in her community includes many years as a school administrator for SFUSD. In addition, she served as an officer of the Saint Emydius Fil-Am Club — all while raising four children as military wife.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Jim as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for Potrero Hill.
Jim Wachob stepped right up when we started our new Connector Network in Potrero Hill at the beginning of this year. He eagerly joined our Advisory Committee and volunteered to help in any way he could.
Then the pandemic hit, which stopped our program in its tracks. But that didn’t stop Jim. He’s been our main volunteer on the ground during the pandemic, delivering frozen meals to Potrero Hill seniors whose lunch site at the Neighborhood House was closed down.
We know we can rely on Jim to coordinate with the residents, pick up the food and take care of all the details. We are lucky to have him as a volunteer, and the Potrero community is lucky to have him as a neighbor.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of our most dedicated neighbors. They volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Jasper as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for Neighborhood Tech Connection.
Jasper Chen is the grandson many seniors need around: the tech wizard.
For more than a year, this high-school student has volunteered at the computer class at Excelsior Community Center on Saturday afternoons. He taught seniors how to use a computer and cellphones and solve their technical problems.
He’s very patient with seniors, and he is bilingual in English and Chinese. He can even speak the dialect which some seniors speak, which they really appreciate.
On top of that, Jasper also helps Wansa when she encounters some problems that she couldn’t solve herself. He teaches her some valuable skills, which she can pass on to seniors.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors. They volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Carol and Gwen as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honorees for the Bayview Grocery Network.
Carol Nolan started volunteering for the Bayview-Hunters Point Food Delivery program back in the fall of 2016. She exhibits her caring and concern for the community by volunteering to compile more than 120 bags of groceries each week.
She also regularly delivers those groceries to homebound seniors in her neighborhood. As a result, they have nourishing food to eat.
Carol’s love of community stems from her love of family. She gives a great deal of support to her children and grandchildren.
You can rely on Gwen Thomas to get things done.
For the past four years, she has faithfully and consistently volunteered in the Home Delivered Grocery Program in the Bayview-Hunters Point community. Each Monday, rain or shine, Gwen takes the bus to oversee the bagging process so food can be delivered consistently.
Gwen shows her dedication to the community in many ways. She also volunteers at the Asian Pacific American Community Center on Raymond Street and the San Francisco Marin Foodbank. On top of that, she shares her activism with other community-based groups.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Friends of St. Francis Childcare Center as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for SF ReServe.
Friends of St. Francis Childcare Center is one of SF ReServe’s longest-running partners.
They provide high-quality early childhood education services to a culturally and economically diverse urban population. They use a model that calls for building a community of learners and participants, including parents and the community.
The center serves children ages two through five from all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. This includes a substantial number of low-income families.
In addition, our ReServist, Judith Baker, works with the center to deliver colorful and cheerful cards and messages.
Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Juliet as our 2020 Good Neighbor Honoree for the Sidewalk Search Party.
Juliet Rothman got interested in the sidewalk search party in November because she did some work with sidewalk issues for DAAS.
In April, she answered a call to action to join the Duck Squad! At first, she was hesitant about participating because she couldn’t print the duck and wasn’t on Facebook. But after we got over the technology issues, Juliet became energized about the project and sought to learn how the city fixes sidewalks.
She reached out to 311 to determine what makes a broken sidewalk. She was appalled that the city only inspects sidewalks every 25 years! So she just started taking pictures of “quacked” sidewalks on her own walks.
She wanted to have a bigger impact, so she sought more community involvement. She shared suggestions of how to take the pictures, her supplies and how to report them to the city. That led right into the “Broken sidewalks quack me up” contest. She even won second place for The Most Bumpiest Walkways.
Now, she’s getting the community involved in getting sidewalks fixed. She wants people who talk with their community groups in their neighbors to take “quacked” sidewalk pictures. You may hear from her soon!
All of this comes as Juliet had many life challenges during the year, which limited her ability to go on walks. But she never stopped working on this project because of how it will benefit so many others.