Welcome to the first “Members Giving Back” issue of 2014, through which we’ll feature some of the wonderful work being done by members at the Trilogy communities in the first half of this year.  There are so many worthwhile projects either wrapping up, in full swing, or on the horizon for the Trilogy members, that this edition is split into two articles, the second of which will be posted later in June.

Read on to discover the generosity of your Trilogy friends and neighbors, and find out how you can participate in some of these volunteer projects.

 

Giving Health and Home to Animals in Need
Contributed by Tracey Minero of Trilogy at Monarch Dunes

I would like to spread the word about a wonderful charity for which I volunteer, called Animals in Need.  The Animals In Need charity was started by Dr. Robin Shroyer, a local veterinarian.  She saw so many animals being brought to her clinic in need medical care, and yet without owners that could afford to pay for the necessary treatments.  So, she founded Animals In Need, which provides free medical care to animals brought into the clinic in need of care, but without an owner.  For example, if someone brings in an animal (without an owner) that was hit by a car, that animal will receive medical care and then be placed in a foster home.  I know of several people in Trilogy who open their home to foster animals.  I have personally been fostering cats and kittens for about 30 years. Our home here in Trilogy is just one of many foster homes throughout Nipomo and nearby cities that are happy to take care of these animals until they are adopted.

Animals in Need was founded just three years ago, and has already made an incredible difference in the lives of innocent animals.   If their upcoming annual fundraiser is a success, Animals In Need will be able to continue to help the animals that are greatest need of medical help.  Animals In Need is a nonprofit organization that is truly a gift of love to animals – and to those of us who foster for them.   Please visit www.ainfund.org to find out more about the June 7th fundraiser and to see photos of some of the animals that they have helped in the past.  Animals in Need is always looking for new foster families, so if you are interested in providing a temporary home for a cat or dog, please contact them (through their website) to learn more.  Thank you!

 

Buses N’ Backpacks – Church At South Lake Community Ministries
Contributed by Anne Pollick of Trilogy Orlando

I would love to spread the word about a charity that is near and dear to my heart!  Buses n’ Backpacks is a program that works in partnership with local schools to provide food to children in need. Currently, this program works with 16 local schools, serving over 500 children each week. Last school year alone, over 60,000 meals were provided through this program.  The Buses ‘N Backpacks program is now on track to serve meals through the summer months, connecting with children in need when they are out of school.

If you would like to offer support to this incredibly worthwhile cause, there are three ways that you can help Buses N’ Backpacks:

1.)  Give Money.  You are welcome to make a one-time donation or to sponsor a child for only $20 per month.  (You can do this easily and securely online by clicking here.)

2.)  Give Food.  Donations of food items are always appreciated.  You can also organize a food drive with your neighbors to support Buses N’ Backpacks. If you would like to do this, simply contact the church office by calling 352-243-1155 or email usClick here to view a list of Recommended Food Items.

3.)  Give Time.  Please consider volunteering some of your time to help with food sorting, packing of backpacks, or delivery of food to children in need. If you are interested in helping out, simply contact the church office by calling 352-243-1155 or by emailing Buses ‘N Backpacks Director Tandy Hammond.

Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Medical Lending Library for Trilogy Neighbors
Contributed by Sharon Fletcher of Trilogy at Vistancia

My husband, Jack Fletcher, has taken it upon himself to be the keeper of medical equipment for Trilogy residents.  He maintains a Bulletin post on MyTrilogyLife.com that advertises the equipment he has available.

The idea for the creation of a medical lending library started when my sister was ill and had to obtain various pieces of medical equipment.  Eventually, this equipment became ours and we decided to keep it and make it available to Trilogy residents who need it temporarily.  When people have surgeries they often need a walker, a raised toilet seat, a shower chair, crutches, canes, or even a wheel chair.  Sometimes neighbors have borrowed items because an elderly relative is visiting for a short time period.

Jack makes all of the equipment readily available, and he also accepts any used equipment that other Trilogy members do not wish to store any longer.  We manage to find a place to store it for the next time there is a neighbor in need.

If you are a Trilogy at Vistancia member who is in need of medical equipment on a temporary basis, or if you would like to donate medical items for use by your Trilogy neighbors, please contact Jack Fletcher, whose email address can be found in your Member Directory on MTL.

 

So Many Ways to Make a Difference through Hospice
Contributed by Jane Wallace of Trilogy at the Vineyards

I’d like to put a pitch in for other Trilogy members to consider volunteering for their local Hospice organization.  My mother (who is 91!!!), my sister, and I volunteer once a week at our local Hospice thrift shop.  Once each week, we head to the Hospice of the East Bay Boutique in Walnut Creek, CA.  We greatly enjoy working in the back room where donations are sorted and priced.  My particular “job” usually includes inspecting the previous week’s linen donations looking for spots, tears or wear and then folding and pricing those that pass muster.  When the linens are done, I might straighten the clothing racks, sort through the boxes and bags that have just arrived, or give a hand wherever it is needed.  Besides doing a job that directly brings money into the organization for the benefit of Hospice patients, I enjoy a great camaraderie with the other volunteers in the store and am always amazed at the variety of donations.  My mother and I have been doing this for about fifteen years.

I recently attended a dinner to honor Hospice volunteers and was surprised at the many different types of things that people do to provide comfort to those in their last days and hours.  I met volunteers who take their therapy dog or cat to visit patients, office volunteers, massage therapists, hairdressers, “last hours” volunteers who insure that no one dies alone by sitting and reading, singing or just holding the hands of those who have come to the end of their life, and many others.  Paid staff include “after hours” nurses and aides who are available for calls at unexpected times, drivers who collect furniture donations, grief counselors, and more.  I never realized the depth of this wonderful organization, which provides care without charge to those who choose to spend their final days in other than a hospital setting.

Our hospice organization is associated with NHPCO (the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization).  If someone is interested in volunteering in their area, the phone directory or web will show local hospice contacts.  Not all hospice organization have thrift shops, but many worthwhile charities do use this method of fundraising, so it should not be difficult to find something similar.

 

Giving is in Full Flight at Trilogy at Vistancia!
Contributed by Trilogy at Vistancia Wings at Work

To say that we are proud of the Trilogy at Vistancia Wings at Work efforts and all of our Members’ giving hearts would be an understatement.

Your philanthropic efforts in 2013 and through the start of this year are simply remarkable.  Trilogy residents got a running start to giving back…literally!  In October, 50 community Members donned their Team Trilogy t-shirts and participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5K run and walk and raised more than $1,600 for breast cancer education and research.

During the holiday season, a time when many Valley families go hungry and don’t have the means to buy gifts for their children, you stepped up.  You reached into your cupboards and gave non-perishable food items to help feed hungry families.  Collectively, community Members donated more than 20 boxes of food to St. Mary’s Food Bank.  You offered another extension of kindness for the Trilogy at Vistancia annual Toys for Tots program.  An amazing 9,837 toys and 139 bikes were donated!  That makes for a lot of happy children.  And it didn’t stop at the toy and bike donations; Trilogy Members also made monetary donations totaling $15,057, which were given to the US Marine Corps to distribute to families of under-privileged children to make their holiday season brighter.

We’re only a few months into 2014, but Trilogy Members have already accomplished so much in the way of giving back to the community.  The annual Trilogy at Vistancia Food For Kidz event took place in March and was a huge success!  175 volunteers gave their time and assembled 125,000 meals.  Half of the meals went to Arizona food banks with the remainder being distributed to others in need.  In true Trilogy at Vistancia Member fashion, you kept on giving by way of monetary donations, resulting in a raising a grand total of $23,000 (WOW)!

The Trilogy at Vistancia Citrus Pickers have been busy this year too.  Each week this team of about 35 Members pick grapefruit, oranges, tangelos and lemons in west side neighborhoods and donate the collected citrus to St. Mary’s Food Bank and needy residents in the greater Phoenix area.  Just this year, they have picked and donated 87,240 pounds of fruit!

We’re also grateful to all of you who have so generously contributed to our Snowbird Food Drive.  You filled 12 large boxes with non-perishable food items, which were donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Keep up the wonderful efforts, Trilogy at Vistancia Wings at Work!  You can all be proud that you are having a positive impact on people’s lives by getting involved and making the community a better place to live through your efforts.

 

Providing Food and Hope to the Hungry
Contributed by Marlanna Bathel of Trilogy at the Vineyards

I volunteer at the Delta Community Christian Food Pantry.  The food pantry is a joint effort by the United Methodist Church, Byron; St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Byron and Delta Community Presbyterian Church, Discovery Bay.
The food pantry serves 25-40 at the Byron site and 50-70 at the Knightsen site.  Food is distributed on Tuesdays, beginning at the Bryon United Methodist Church (9am) and moving to the Knightsen Women’s Club at about 10am.

As a volunteer, I help with setting up the tables and displaying the available food.  Many of our recipients have small children in their arms so we help by carrying their bags of food for them.  This also gives us a chance to talk with them and get to know them.  This seems to be unique, and is very uplifting for us as volunteers and them as well.  Consequently, I’ve seen a change of behavior and attitude from the recipients.

We also have a resource table with regular announcements of jobs, classes, rentals, etc.  This has been helpful to many.

There is a giveaway table for clothing and small items.  These donations come from the general population as well as the recipients.  When children outgrow their clothing they bring it to share with others.

This is the way in which I volunteer, though there are many other opportunities to serve, as well!  For example, volunteers can pack foods on Mondays at 4pm at St. Anne’s kitchen or make regularly scheduled food pickups during the week.  Your donations of food to the Contra Costa-Solano Food Bank would also be appreciated.

Please consider joining us in this rewarding act of service.

 

Part 2 of this “2014 Members Giving Back” series will be posted later in June.  Stay tuned to learn about additional volunteer opportunities in or around your Trilogy community!