Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Dinner & Backpacks 2013

Oh what a joy it was tonight, even though it all happened a few days after Christmas.  :)  Everyone was still in the Christmas Spirit and very excited for it all to unfold.   :)

Our Hilde (89 years young) was in her kitchen for a couple of days to make about 30 pounds of meatloaf and a huge pot of her famous ever so smooth gravy, both of which have become a Christmas tradition now for the homeless people.  This was the third year in a row she made them for everyone.  :)  Thank you my dearest Hilde !!  :)  

Faith, Bruce, and I cooked the rest of the dinner, which was mashed potatoes, corn in butter, green beans with dried cranberries, and a big tossed salad.  Marilyn made a huge bowl of Jello with fruit again and we had lots of Cool Whip too.  Then there were home baked cookies & fresh water.

Dave loaded all the food once more for us, into two cars this time.  K.C., Sally and Harvey loaded all the backpacks into their two trucks to transport over to the parks.  Yeah, we needed two whole truck beds.  :)  Hilde's Great Grandkids Michael (14) and lil' Lexie (12) helped too.   :)

When we got to the first park there were quite a bunch of homeless waiting, looking quite hungry.  They formed a long line pretty quickly and we hustled to get everything set up.  Thank you Hilde, Kim, Gerry, Sally, K.C., Marilyn, and Michael for serving the food and water.  We all were a great team and fed 63 people altogether.   :)

Thank you cute Lexie for taking most of the photos that follow & Marilyn for contributing some also !!  Great job you two !!  :)  It was hard to choose which ones to post here, there are many.   :)  

Mark, Frank and Sandy it was wonderful to see your sweet faces at Santa Rita Park and to be able to spend at least a few seconds with you !!  :)   I truly wish I could have had more time with you !!  And Bryce, it was nice to meet you !!  :)

Earlier in the day Mary came over with more items to put into the backpacks, plus blankets and warm clothes.  So I hustled to get them all into the backpacks too.   Thank you my Mary Mouse, and Dennis for giving up your Dad's warm coat.  :)

After everyone had full bellies we handed out the filled to the top backpacks and in addition everyone got new T-shirts and underwear in their sizes.   :)   All the people in the parks were so grateful and happy and that made all of us happy too.   :)   

We went to the second park after that and repeated it all once more.  It was such a wonderful evening and stretched Christmas out for all a little longer for all of us !!  :)  

The night before I tackled all the cookies & was able to put 10 to 12 cookies, depending on the size, into  each backpack.  :)  I ended up with close to 1000 cookies after all & would like to thank all the wonderful bakers who took the time to help out, especially at the last minute for some.  :) 

Thank you Buck, Alison, Ginger, Marianne and her two lil' girls Chelsey and Heather, Katie, Racheal, Dolly, Dawn, Nicole and Nathan, April, Leigh, Deena, and Inna, who baked her first cookies ever and 16 dozen at that !!  And a big thank you also goes to Audrey and Rose for baking 18 dozen !!  :)   I have some left over, which are frozen, so I can take them when we serve the next regular meals.  It's always great to have home baked cookies for the people in the parks.  :) 

Thank you to each and everyone of you for helping make this Christmas Celebration possible and for being my Angel Helpers !!  :)   I am always grateful and feel blessed by all your Kindness !!  :)

Wishing you all a truly happy and fulfilling 2014 filled with many blessings each and every day !!

Christmas Dinner & Backpacks 2013 Photos



























Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve with the Homeless 2013

What a Miracle tonight was !!  :)  

The 17 Deep Dish Pizzas added up to being able to feed 68 people this evening, which is quite a bunch.  When we got to the first park there were more than a normal amount of people there & we were plowing through those pizzas pretty quickly.  I kept thinking I need to go to buy some more near the second park, as I had a feeling we would run out, at the rate we were dishing out the pieces. 

When we got to the second park there were another huge amount of people and I kept saying that I need to buy more pizzas to be able to feed everyone in line.   :)   Normally the people at the second park get seconds and the left-overs after everyone had their first portions. 

Here is where the Miracle comes in .... we fed exactly 68 people.  That's how many homeless showed up altogether & that's the exact amount of pizza we had.  :)   And all that on Christmas Eve !!  :) 

I had many helpers tonight, which made everything quite easy.  Three ladies from R & R Rescue (Reclaimed & Repurposed Pooches) came to help & to bring cookies, and so did my friend Buck, who has baked many cookies and cakes for the Homeless throughout the years.  :)   Marilyn stopped by for a little bit to say "hi" to everyone & to meet some of the Doggie People, as I call you all affectionally.   :)

Thank you Dolly Fernandes, Deena Singer, April Vanderpol & Buck Bannister for your loving support this evening !!  :)  It was fun to meet you & to now have faces to go with your names.  And thank you for all the incredible cookies & the Love you put into each one !!  :)   Most will go into the backpacks for this coming Saturday.  :)

Dolly, a special thank you goes to you for rallying everyone together to bake cookies & for your awesome job in organizing to bring dog bowls and dog treats for the homeless doggies in the parks.  :) 

All the blankets, comforters and sleeping bags were gone by the end of the night, except for one blanket and a couple of shirts.  We could have used a bunch more warm jackets though, so if anyone would like to donate some, I am happy to take them this coming Saturday.  :)

Wishing each and everyone of you a very special Christmas, and I will sign off with lots of Gratitude for all your Open Hearts for our People in the City Parks !!  :)

Sleep with the Angels !!   :)

Christmas Eve with the Homeless Photos 2013










Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stuffing 72 Backpacks - Part 1

All 72 backpacks are stuffed and are almost ready to go to the parks for the Homeless people for Christmas, except for adding all the cookies, which I will do in a few days, so they will be fresh.  :)
We will deliver everything on Saturday, December 28th, along with a great big Christmas dinner.  :) 

It took seven of us close to four hours to get it all done and you can see photos below of the before and after.   :)  Thank you Sue, Marilyn, Laura & Steve, Cristina & your brother Gabe, for putting your whole hearts into this !!   :)   What a team you all were !!  :)   I am amazed !!

We packed those bags full of 60 hand crochet beanies by Cheryl, who has been working on them this whole year.  :)  She is now crocheting more already for next years Christmas.   :)

K.C. motivated many people in her Crafts Club to knit scarves for the Homeless and here are some of their stories:

Laurie Mullins works on scarves when her leg hurts too much to do anything else.  She finds some yarn in her stash and then spends the day in bed working on scarves.  :)

Tina Roose learned how to crochet on YouTube.  She buys yarn at Goodwill and practices by making scarves.  :)

Patricia Gellin has made the scarves during her lunch break.  :)

Lori Blew began to crochet again after a 20 year hiatus to make these scarves.  :)

Ian, Lori's husband, "brochets" and does a scarf every now and then to clean his pallet between projects.   :)

Margaret Newman just loves to crochet and feels she should use up her stash, because that way she can get more yarn.   :)

Sue Lynn Halloway Turner who just read about the project of the scarves on Facebook, made a few and mailed them from Texas.  :)

Kelsey Henderson did the same and made a few.  :)

KarenYasher made several and would have done more but found out that two of her nieces were having babies.  So she knitted baby stuff instead.  :)  Congratulations !!

And K.C., who does not like to knit at all, bought a few to donate.  :)

June, from Hilde's knitting club, made two bunches also, so we had enough for each backpack.   :)

Thank you to all you kind souls for your beautiful work & the loving dedication to this project of keeping the Homeless a lil' warmer this year.   :)  

Randy Seligmann of Chiral Research, donated warm socks and warm gloves, along with a gift card to Fry's, which helped so much with buying the candy and some food.   :) 

Eleanor Miller donated money and I was able to buy the T-shirts and sweatshirts with it.  :)

A very, very generous donation from the BSD Winers & Diners helped with being able to get all the men's and women's underwear, the backpacks, and a lot of odds and ends that were still needed.   :)

The Ahmidiya Muslim Community here in Tucson just blew me away again this year by donating 65 each of the Deodorants, Shampoo, Conditioners, Shaving Cream, Razors, Bars of Soap, Decks of Playing Cards, Candy, Chocolates, some Used Books and Magazines, some Toothpastes and Toothbrushes.  And the children of the Mosque with the help of Ulliya made many hand-made and very precious Christmas cards to stuff into the backpacks.  :)  

Pat Bovine too wrote a lot of Christmas cards again this year and she mailed them to me all the way from Arkansas this year.  Pat, this is becoming a tradition for you.   :)

The children of the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson made a lot of cards too with the help of Jasmine there.   :)

Ashley Brock's First Graders made cards too and it was kind of hard for me to part with them.  :)  They were just really adorable & their spelling was the cutest ever.   :)

Many different items were donated by the sweet Ladies from the St. Joseph Rosary Makers.  It was so nice to finally meet you all and to be able to spend a little time with you.   :)   Thank you Elena for always being the "Instigator" for all these Kindnesses.   :)   And it was wonderful to be able to take all those warm jackets to the Homeless people too right around the time it got so cold.   :)  

Big thanks to each and everyone of you for helping make all of this possible & for your beautiful, open and caring Hearts !!   :)

To be continued .............

Stuffing 72 Backpacks Photos



Stuffing 72 Backpacks - Part 2

Continuation ........................

Dave and Linda Mann, thank you so much for the candy, combs, books and Granola Bars.  It helped out a lot !!   :)

Cristina Ball, thank you for all the wet wipes & for buying all those blankets & sleeping bags at the thrift store for the Homeless !!   :)   What a great idea !!   :)

Alison Newman, thank you for knitting a bunch of warm fingerless gloves, plus scarves and caps !!  Also for donating a lot of odds and ends that we needed for stuffing the bags.  :)   It was sweet how you wrapped all the gloves with pretty ribbons.  :)

Marilyn Rubin, my faithful helper, thank you for the running around you did to find the T-shirts, sweatshirts, and the socks for the ladies !!   :)   Also thank you Alvin for the cookies and granola bars !!  :)  

Sue Bradford, thank you my friend, for the extra socks !!  :)

Dr. Kronlage, a big thank you for donating all those snack items for the Homeless !!  It was so wonderful to stuff them all into the backpacks.  :)  

Laura Kakuris and Steve, thank you for donating some of the Christmas candy this year !!   :)

Sadie, your help with the toothpastes and toothbrushes is much appreciated & please come back to the parks with us soon !!  :)

Nicole and Nathan Mitchell, thank you for picking up the slack of the last toothpastes and toothbrushes !!  :)  It all rounded out in the end. 

I also would like to thank the people from Hilde's church for donating some of the items needed to fill the backpacks.  :) 

And another great big thank you goes out to Buck Bannister & Michael, Mara Concordia, Cristina Ball, Nicole & Nathan Mitchell, and Inna Rohr, for all those warm blankets and sleeping bags you brought over for the people in the parks !!  :)   I so appreciate that some of you even went to thrift shops to find them !!  :)

Sending a great big thank you hug to each of you wonderful people for helping with this project and for all the Love you gifted the Homeless with this Season !!   :)

I am ever so grateful to each one of you !!   :) 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sausage & Vegetable Stew, Tossed Salad & Home Baked Brownies

In a car loaded up with lots of hot food, many warm jackets, blankets and comforters, I headed to the two parks.  :)

It is so chilly now at night and the homeless sleep on the cold ground, so please help me to gather blankets, sleeping bags, even comforters, or mattress pads.  They can be used already & the homeless so appreciate them.  If you don't mind, please also ask your friends to see what is in their closets that they don't really use.  Warm jackets are always needed too.  If you can bring them to my home I then will gladly take them to the parks & distribute them.   :)  Thank you for helping out !!  :)

Faith, my Cooking Angel, and I made a stick to your ribs Sausage & Vegetable Stew today, which included 12 lbs. of Kielbasa, 15 lbs. of potatoes and 7 lbs. of carrots and we fed 40 people tonight.  Someone else was at Santa Rita Park serving a Stir Fry and many of the homeless had been eating already when we got there around 5 PM.  So we didn't feed too many people today.  Some of the homeless from the second park were working at the Street Fair to pick up a little money.  But 40 people have a full belly tonight & some have warm jackets & blankets.  :)  It's a good feeling.  :)

Nicole & Nathan came by my home today to bring two big containers of home baked Brownies for tonight's meal.  They were wonderful & we all had some too.  :)   You know I pay my helpers with brownies & cookies.  ;)  It was so nice to meet you both & I am so grateful for your loving support !!  :)  

Sadie came by the park to bring some items she is donating for the Christmas event on December 28th.  Sadie, thank you for stopping by & for wanting to help so much !!  :)   It was really nice to meet you also today !!  :)   

Gerry & Kim came back to the parks to help with serving the food & it was wonderful to have you both with Marilyn & I.  We make a wonderful team & I hope you will come back over & over again !!  :)  :)  Thank you for your caring help !!  And Gerry, your sweet smile !!  :)

Dave & Linda, thank you again for contributing some of the groceries for this meal & Dave thank you for loading up my car with a lot of stuff today !!   :)   You are so appreciated always !!  :)

Marilyn, my loyal Friend, I always so appreciate your cleaning up all those big pots & utensils, etc., and for helping serve all those hungry people.  :)   You are awesome and I know that you give up other activities to be there for this and that makes me even more grateful !!  :)

The next meal will be pizza on Christmas Eve.  :) 

Good Night now to you all & sleep with the Angels !!  :)