Resiliency is buoyancy. It’s like those buoys you see off the coast, battered by powerful waves in storms, but they just don’t sink. They stay afloat. And they signal to others the line between safety and danger.
Resiliency is one of the qualities we’ve come to admire and appreciate so acutely in the last year. As May is Older Americans Month, we’re spotlighting a couple of Community Living Campaign staff members who have done a great job of demonstrating strength and resilience and what that means.
Nicky Trasvina, one of our Community Connectors, felt that some of the best examples of resiliency are the often unseen, underappreciated essential workers. They continued to step up and keep San Francisco running while most of us were able to shelter in place.
Leaders Feeding Neighbors
Another great example of resiliency are community leaders, like the handful in the Mission who provided food to about 3,000 families each week.
“This continues as an amazing, tremendous undertaking by local leaders in that community, including Roberto Hernandez, Valerie Tolier, Tracy Brown, Ray Ponce and others,” Nicky said. “They created the space and tapped all their resources to get hundreds of pounds of food donated each week. It was such an abundance of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.”
She’s grateful for the opportunity to play a part in the operation, picking up leftover food supplies from donors to be distributed by other volunteers.
Nicky also sought ways to help neighbors and friends in small ways, like bringing them things they needed.
Acting generously also relieved some of the feelings of helplessness so many of us felt. So she also gave financially to some organizations she cares about, following the old adage to “put your money where your mouth is!”
Strength in Prayer
And through it all, one of her primary sources of strength has been prayer.
“Depending on prayer gives me a lot of strength,” Nicky said. “And I think this helps others. I think people appreciate it when they know someone is praying for them. So when I say I’m going to pray for you, I just stop and say the prayer right then.”
She’s also found more connection by reaching out to old friends, neighbors and former students since she was a college adviser. And not just by phone and text.
“It’s not unusual to find me standing out in my front yard talking to people who go by,” Nicky said. “I feel it’s part of my role in getting our neighbors connected. And it’s fun! I’m like the stereotypical old lady looking out through her blinds watching everything, but people like it!”
Read another profile of our Community Connector Laura Atkins.