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I used to recognize myself, it’s funny how reflections change

When we’re becoming something else, I think it’s time to walk away

So come on, let it go, just let it be

Why don’t you be you, and I’ll be me

James Bay


Dear Friends:

Every year I share the amazing work Petaluma People Services Center staff and volunteers do every day for over 10,000 of our residents, however this year as I took a moment to reflect I realized that this has been a year like no other. This year we have seen an unprecedented number of our community members that need PPSC’s help – they need your help. It is across the spectrum of services we provide for our neighbors who are struggling. PPSC has been the safety net for thousands of southern Sonoma County residents for decades. This safety net catches the young, the old, the unemployed, the homeless, the abuse victims and just about everyone else looking for a hand up. Honestly, we need to ask for your help, so that together we can provide that help.

The song says, I used to recognize myself, it’s funny how reflections change. When you look at yourself you may see that the economy seems strong, people have jobs, our community is thriving, but when I look in the mirror I see a year filled with heartbreak, doors closing on community members and those who are accessing our services need them more than ever before. PPSC represents the most basic act of humanity, and your support helps us to continue the work.

The other day I saw a familiar face. A face that in years past has found a way to help those in Petaluma who were going through tough times. She and her co-workers always made time to help. Driving Meals On Wheels, helping raise money for our many programs and assisting in our Employment Program. As I dropped my bag to give her a hug, I felt a tremble run though her body and I heard a slight gasp. Looking into her eyes, they filled with tears, she shared this time she was not here to help, but rather to get help from PPSC; she was hopeful that others, just like you, would see a way to give just a little. She is just like many of our clients looking for a way to become something else.

Everything we are, everything we do, is connected and for the past 42 years, PPSC has been making the connections. No one chooses to age. No one chooses to lose their job or their home. No one chooses to struggle with health or family issues. If we become frail and want to stay in our home, or need employment help or counseling, or access to healthy food, we know that the services that PPSC provides in Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County will be here for them.

Because I believe you are someone who wants to help, I am asking you today to help PPSC to cast a wider safety net. Their faces are familiar. They are our mothers and fathers, grandparents and maybe even us. In years past, their lives were full, and their dreams and aspirations unlimited. It is simple but powerful. People cannot feel hope or dignity if they are hungry or lonely. Food and friends are the means by which people can maintain hope and strength to take the next steps to empower themselves. You may already be familiar with our successful Meals on Wheels program that, with the enormous help of our volunteers, served more than 43,000 meals and kept the dreams alive last year for many of our frail elders in Petaluma. Without this program, it would not be possible for many seniors to remain independent in their homes. We count on the support of the community to continue all our programs. Our core services include Senior Services, Counseling and Prevention, Homelessness Prevention and Housing, Employment & Training and Petaluma Bounty Farms.

If you have supported our programs before, we are deeply grateful for your continued support. If you are a first time donor, we welcome you as a new friend. Your investment will make a big difference in the quality of life for your neighbors. It is a simple act of kindness and compassion. We want to thank you in advance for your support.

It is all about community,

Elece Hempel


Think about it…. someone you know is hungry today.

1,000 Petaluma Bowls

Join us for a festive afternoon of live jazz, gourmet soup and pottery bowls created by our many family, friends and local artists.
Friday November 24, 11:00am-3:00pm
Hotel Petaluma
205 Kentucky Street. Petaluma

Tickets: $20 pre-sale or $25 at the door, kids 10 and under are free.
Pottery Bowls created by our community will be for sale throughout the day.

PPSC Nutrition Programs:
Meals On Wheels
Adult Day Respite
Petaluma Bounty Farm

To viewmore photos of the 1,000 Bowls visit PPSC’s facebook page: 1,000 Petaluma Bowls

Thank you to our sponsors, artists, and so many Petalumans who hosted pottery painting parties:

Bank of Marin      Redwood Credit Union    Family Tree Pottery   Hotel Petaluma   Minuteman Press Petaluma  Rustad Marketing


Think about it someone you know is hungry today.

1,000 Petaluma Bowls

WHAT WE KNOW: You are aware that hunger is a growing problem for the residents of Petaluma, and that is why I’m writing and I need your help, not your money right now.  We are very excited about our new event 1,000 Petaluma Bowls, which will directly support PPSC’s programs that bring healthy meals to our community’s most vulnerable and food insecure individuals.   Even though our economy is recovering, thousands of people in Sonoma County still struggle in poverty. Increasingly, more home-bound seniors are receiving a hot meal (and daily security check) every day from our Meals on Wheels program.   The number of seniors, families and individuals in Petaluma who are “food insecure” is astonishing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: We are asking PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY to host a  pottery bowl painting party for your friends.  We will bring the bisque-fired pottery bowls and the glazes to your home for you to paint and then donate to the sale.  PPSC STAFF will join you and your guests to share about PPSC and our programs.  All of the bowls from your party will be fired by our partner studio and then auctioned at the 1,000 Petaluma Bowls event in November.  Here is where the fun starts, you and your friends invite other to come and bid on their bowl, your bowl or anyone else’s bowl.  We want it to be a fun way to share with each other while helping us fill the bowls of so many hungry people in Petaluma.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO: Friday, November 27 at Hermann Son Hall.   We will have 1,000 handmade pottery bowls for this event.  There will be great food, entertainment and a lot of really great pottery created by some of the Bay Area’s best clay and glass artists and studios, and by people in our community. Now imagine 1,000 smiling faces. With the sale of each bowl at our event, we will be able to expand our programs to better support these families and individuals.  Here’s how: If we sell 6 bowls at $10+ each and raise $62, we can provide daily meals and care for a week to one more senior. 100 bowls sold translates to daily meals for about 16 seniors.  And, it’s a big jump, If we sell 1,000 bowls, those funds will provide daily meals for a week to an additional 161 seniors!
WHY WE NEED YOU: We can not do this ourselves, it takes all of us to help those in our community who are hungry.  Host a party, buy a bowl, make a donation, buy a ticket to the event, help us address hunger; one or 1,000 Petaluma Bowls at a time.


If your organization is organizing a donation drive, please contact PPSC at 707-765-8488 to find out our greatest area of need.

Help PPSC care for our seniors We need your help. We could really use the following food items:

  • Arts and Craft supplies
  • Warm socks and gloves
  • Greeting cards
  • Items to be used as BINGO gifts
  • Bus Passes
  • Sound Systems

PPSC’s Backpacks of Hope provide essentials for families with children. We’ll distribute backpacks filled with essentials to clients in our programs. The packs will contain toothpaste, toothbrushes, clean socks, blankets, first aid kits, food and clothes.

  • First Aid
  • Band aids
  • Neosporin mini packs
  • Travel size aspirin
  • Q-tips
  • cotton balls
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Combs
  • Wash cloths
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Underwear Resources
  • Bus passes

Planned gifts, such as bequests or charitable trusts, can be an advantageous way to provide for a future gift to charity. Take care of yourself and take care of PPSC and the community long into the future.

What is “Planned Giving?”

Planned giving involves providing for a future gift to PPSC through your financial and estate plans. PPSC welcomes gifts made through different planned giving arrangements. These arrangements can:

  • Provide for you or your loved ones
  • Entitle you to charitable income and/or gift or estate tax deductions
  • Enable you to leave a legacy for Sonoma County’s youth

Sample Bequest Language

Following are examples of how to indicate a general or undesignated gift to Social Advocates for Youth:

Sample Bequest of Remainder of Estate “I give, devise, and bequeath to Petaluma People Services Center , TAX ID #94-2271299, all [or state the fraction or percentage] of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal. Petaluma People Services Center may be contacted in care of Elece Hempel, Executive Director, 1500 Petaluma Blvd. South, Petaluma, CA 94952 707-765-8488.”

Sample Bequest of Specific Amount “I give, devise, and bequeath $_____ to Petaluma People Services Center TAX ID #94-2271299, PPSC may be contacted in care of Petaluma People Services Center may be contacted in care of Elece Hempel, Executive Director, 1500 Petaluma Blvd. South, Petaluma, CA 94952 707-765-8488″

*These are merely suggestions as to content and should be written or adapted by legal counsel to fit the contributor’s individual situation.

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