During the week I make little notes to myself about things that happened during the week that I want to publish on the blog. As I was looking over them, I couldn't believe that some of this stuff only happened Monday! This week has been incredibly busy and I'm looking forward to just relaxing this weekend. Here are the highlights:
Monday, I was made "Exucutive Director of the Shoe Department." (I exchange shoes for the guests.) Just this week, over 30 men needed shoes. Because of our dwindling supply (only 3 pairs of gym or dress shoes and 2 pairs of sandals) I wasn't able to help most. (Thankfully a donation of another 7 pairs came in today!) Tuesday, Jim and Garren, the bosses, assigned the JVs (Krystal, Anne and I) tasks concerning the park duties. We each have about 5 extra responsibilities (posting announcements, getting the volunteer schedule in order, buying soups, etc.). I, personally, am really grateful to Jim and Garren that they trust us enough to take on extra responsibilities!
Wednesday was my casa-mate Kathleen's birthday! (She works over at the school at Loaves & Fishes.) We celebrated and hosted a party for a few of her co-workers until 10:30pm! (Big deal for us because we like to be in bed by 10!) She even had her favorite BBQ sauce flown in from St. Louis!
Thursday was my mom's birthday, a press conference at the park and the Women's Empowerment Gala. Due to a lack of funding (or some other bureaucratic reason), Sacramento will not have an overflow shelter this winter. That means all the people who sleep on the street every night, will have to do so in the winter months. (Not only does Sacramento get cold, it also rains heavily and constantly during the winter months.) The press conference was drawing attention to this, and general awareness of how awful the homeless population is being treated in Sacramento.
The Gala was a much friendlier and fun! Two of my casa-mates, Laura and Alice, work at Women's Empowerment (WE), an off-shoot non-profit from Loaves & Fishes. WE offers classes for women to get their GED, job training, and computer skills. This wonderful, self-esteem building program has an annual party which our entire casa volunteered for. Myself, along with Kathleen and Krystal, sold raffle tickets for the majority of the night. By selling tickets, raffles, auction items, and general donations, WE raised over $110,000!!
The greatest, and busiest, part of the week was today at Friendship Park, or "the park" as I call it, but it is also known as FP. The park celebrated their 20th anniversary today. (Loaves & Fishes has been around for 25 years, and they established FP 5 years later.) To celebrate this accomplishment, FP hosted a carnival!! When the guests received their meal ticket, they were given 4 carnival tickets as well. They could use these tickets at any booth they wanted: cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, photo booth, balloon animals, or the dunk tank. (We had a ton of guests use all four at the dunk tank! With each ticket they would receive three balls to try to hit the target and dunk whoever was in the tank: Garren, Jim, or a couple other green hats. Despite the many suggestions for me to get in the tank, I vehemently declined.) It was the most fun, heart warming, awesome-est awesome day! There were too many highlights to recall, and the pure joy of the guests was amazing to witness!
Despite the hectic-ness of the week, I wouldn't have traded it for anything!