Over 4 days in November, 30+ LAH volunteers worked together to hold a yard sale to raise money to help fund our services to seniors. We worked together with about 20 students from Salpointe High School to deliver items to the sale site, set everything up, and hold the sale on Friday and Saturday. It was a lot of work, but many hands made the task managable. We raised over $2400. Items left at the end were donated to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Casa de los Ninos, Goodwill, Rise, and Friends of the Pima County Library.
Thank you to everybody who helped, to everybody who donated, and to everybody who shopped. We couldn't do it without you! We'll probably do it again in the spring, so get ready . . .
Below are pictures of the Salpointe students who helped with the sale.
Hope Greenwell, otherwise known as Susan Vilsik-Greenwell, died suddenly in August. She loved to talk, to learn, to take an adventure – as we found out at her memorial: Susan, who had been a very young nun in the convent for two years, read the works of a Dr Richard Greenwell of Arid Studies and zoology in Britain. Her eternal curiosity and interest in learning called her to travel. Leaving the convent life, she went to South America to teach; it was there she was introduced to Richard and they were married. They stayed on in South America for 6 years before coming to Tucson and the UA.
After raising 2 sons and a daughter to adulthood, and after Richard’s death in 2005, Susan wanted to open a welcoming house of prayer, like Dorothy Day. She researched the idea speaking to many people. They were people of other cultures and nations. They nicknamed her Esperanza (Hope). She wore scarves to hide her hair – in concert with other women of the world who had to keep their hair covered. Susan carried the name Hope till her death. She was a woman of many religions, many cultures, many friendships.
Henry Hall died in October after 90 plus years of learning and teaching in Chemistry. When LAH met him and his wife, Wini, a peace activist from California, they wanted to be part of the socials and the field trips. Their adult daughters often lived and worked in foreign countries, and Hank and Wini were cared for and loved by neighbors and caregivers. But Henry still went to the Chemistry Lab and the UA three times a week. He worked with young scientists on scientific problems and solutions. He also attended the UA elder classes in Chinese history, etc. Wini died in early 2017; Henry died in October. His last trip, only a year or so ago, was to St Petersburg, Russia. He returned and announced that would be his last big trip. Henry, needing to maintain his social life, threw several dance parties at his home. Foxtrot anyone? Henry & Wini touched many lives. May they both rest in peace.
Ramon “Ray” Vasquez was a very quiet man. He kept to himself and respected that privacy in others, yet we learned to love him for his quick smile, which led us to his kindness and humor. He loved to participate in Tuesday Games Nights, even hosting one at his home. When I interviewed him for LAH services, we talked for hours; couldn’t help it. His history of being a social worker, a gardener, a lover of opera, a caller for square dance, and a lover of art made him a very interesting person. He made such good friends with a few of our volunteers that they hovered over him – daily calls, taking him to doctor appointments, to game nights, and to the opera. He also took advantage of our socials and our field trips. Ray died in October. His niece and family from Phoenix had a very quiet service for him and spread his ashes in the Evergreen Cemetery Memorial Garden.
Anne Vogel turned 95 in January. She died in October. Because she was “alone” (though she had some estranged family back East) and elderly and a very stubborn and self-reliant German-American, Anne usually did things her way. We learned new ways of shopping, getting to medical appointments, and growing plants. She lived in what I would call the Garden of Eden, a single, older trailer on a half acre of land near Winterhaven, surrounded by vines, flowers and fruit trees. She had been there as a renter for 20 years, through several owners.
When she was no longer able to walk to the car and had to be wheelchaired, unable go on shopping trips, to the credit union, or to her doctor’s appointments, and when she took to her bed to sleep most of the day and night, we knew she was getting ready to leave this world. Her neighbor, Wayne, a man of great faith in God and of great and generous heart, took care of her garden, her meals, her laundry and her little projects. Anne was not a woman of great faith or gentle or generous heart, but they were the ultimate “Odd Couple.” For her last birthday, in January, one of our wonderful volunteers cooked her favorite – lobster and shrimp, just like the Red Lobster meals she celebrated with in her heyday. A friend came by with chocolates for her. We set up the dining table for a couple of special guests. We also provided cake and ice cream. Anne rose from her bed and enjoyed all of the celebration. It was the best birthday ever!
Jane Hill was a legacy volunteer; that is, she started volunteering with LAH when it began in 2006. She stopped volunteering as a driver extraordinaire 2 or 3 years ago due to health concerns. Dr Hill, renowned anthropologist and professor emerita at the UA, volunteered through the last years of her career and beyond, driving senior neighbors when her schedule could accommodate them. While serving an Eastern Indian woman, Jane became alarmed that she could not reach her by phone for two days. Because Jane had a lecture class to teach, she asked me to drive by her UA building. She literally handed off the keys so I could go out to check on the woman. It was a good call because the woman had fallen and for two days was unable to get up or get to a phone for help. Jane was an authentic people person and really made friends with senior neighbors who were lonely and who needed the assurance and strength of others to keep getting up in the morning to enjoy life. She often had her husband, Ken, accompany her and their friend Jim to lunch. Other times, she had Ken drive another friend to art classes. Any task Jane took on, she did it well. She did it lovingly. She did it with integrity. She did it as a Good Neighbor. Jane died suddenly last week, but she left us with a strong example of LAH volunteerism. There will be a University Memorial for Jane in a few months.
On Senior Social Tuesday in July, the guest speaker was David Fitzsimmons, staff cartoonist and humor columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, also a one-of-a-kind "standup cartoonist" and speaker. He entertained the LAH clients and volunteers with caricatures of some famous folks and some of the audience. Here are a few pictures taken by Herb Fauth, a LAH volunteer.
8 tons in 2 hours
Thank you Tucson for making our Shred-it event a success last Saturday. This is the first time that we were able to shred over 8 tons of paper in 2 hours. A special thanks to the volunteers of Lend A Hand who took in over $1,000 in donations. This is another example of how Tucson residents have great hearts.
Alonzo Fuentes of Shred-It, Lend A Hand Volunteers Wallace Kinkade & Nancy Ruhl, and Constable Bennett Bernal.
Help LAH and save on your taxes at the same time. LAH has qualified as an Arizona Charitable Organization. This means that you can subtract the amount you have donated to LAH from what you owe in state taxes for 2017, up to $400 if filing as an individual and up to $800 if filing a joint return.
Ward 3 Councilmember Paul Durham included the following article in his eNote of March 2, 2018:
Mayor Rothschild and I presented a proclamation to Michele Brubaker declaring February 22nd on this year as "Michele Brubaker Appreciation Day." Michele served as the director of Lend-A-Hand, a Ward 3 based community resource that provides free services to seniors in our community, for ten years. Last year, they assisted 145 clients in Ward 3. To learn more about their work (or to get involved!) you can check out their website: http://www.lahseniorhelp.org/
Shopping on Amazon this season? Start your Amazon purchase from Amazon Link on LAH's website and . . .
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Simply use the Amazon button to the right on this page.
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