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Dear Friends,

I can’t believe it is that time of the year; where I sit down and write a letter to you and share the work we have done. Honestly it has been a year of change, hope, sadness and trauma. Petaluma People Services Center employees and volunteers spend day after day working with our clients who live we these emotions; for some they live with all of these emotions daily. Ed Sheeran’s words ring true this year “I’m thinking out loud, but maybe we found love right where we are”.

As the director of PPSC, it isn’t always uplifting, life-changing work we do; most of it is hard and challenging work, where if we are successful, we are helping our clients break the cycle of poverty. But we do it all with love in our heart, meeting our clients where they are.

Love is where we are:

  • when senior gets a visit from a volunteer also delivering a hot meal, 365 days a year,
  • when family is able to visit our Bounty Farm and not only learn to grow vegetables on their own, they get to take a bag of fresh food home for dinner,
  • when a child who has been traumatized is able to find a place at PPSC to feel safe,
  • when a young man who dropped out of school is now earning a good wage and working on securing his high school diploma….
  • For 46 years, PPSC has been helping people find what they need. 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, we know that the services that PPSC provides will be here for us. When PPSC began providing services the mission was simple and remains simple: “people helping people.”

….“I’m thinking out loud, but maybe we found love right where we are”.

It is simple but powerful. People cannot feel hope or dignity if they are hungry or lonely. Food and friends are how people can maintain hope and strength to take the next steps to empower themselves. Many of our neighbors are in trouble. Families across Petaluma are finding themselves in crisis. Rapid increases in the cost of food, utilities and rent are presenting a triple threat to the well being of many senior citizens and families. These challenges are not limited to the chronically unemployed. All too frequently, employed middle class families are falling victim to increasing expenses and limited income opportunities. These are our neighbors. They may easily be our grandparents, parents, siblings and children. They are often senior citizens, living on a fixed income; being forced to make hard choices among necessities like medication, heat for their home or food. Even some families where the wage earners work multiple jobs are finding it’s just not enough to

cover basic expenses. Remember that every dollar you give reminds those we serve that love can be found right where they are.

When you reach out your hand to one, you can influence the condition of all. We need your help, so we can make sure that no one is turned away. In fact, your donations fund over 59 programs to support people in breaking the cycles of poverty and dependency. By supporting one another we can empower individuals to help them face problems and handle their lives. It is important that we as a community come together to make sure a senior will not have to decide between filling their prescription or having enough food to eat, or that a young mother will not be forced to live in a home where she and her children are not safe, or that a youngster who is looking for attention and a sense of belonging will not be forced to find harmful activities.

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. You may already be familiar with our successful Meals on Wheels program that, with the enormous help of our volunteers, served more than 46,000 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 & Prevention, Housing, Employment and Petaluma Bounty Farms. 

You probably know someone who has benefited from our services. Your donation of $75 will help to feed a senior for a full week, while $300 will help to provide meals and companionship for a full month. Your donation of $80 will help three at-risk youth to get much-needed counseling. For seniors in peril of being shut off from the world, or a youth looking for guidance, these are more than just “programs,” these are reflections of your support for the concept of togetherness.

You have opportunities each and every day to reach out to those less fortunate. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by. 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. “I’m just thinking out loud, help us continue to find love right where we are”.

It is all about Community, and love too…

Elece Hempel

Elece Hempel

Executive Director

P.S. When you make your gift, we hope you’ll consider making an on-going monthly contribution. We believe with all our heart that the daily goal of PPSC should be to recognize that we all belong together hand in hand; providing love right where we are!

Petaluma People Services Center is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of our community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual.

 

A group of happy elderly people enjoying themselves over a card game

A regular recipient of Meals on Wheels getting his dinner

A group of happy elderly people enjoying themselves over a card game

A group of happy elderly people enjoying themselves over a card game

What would Sonoma County look like without Petaluma Peoples Services Center?

The other day I asked my board to imagine a day without Petaluma People Services Center. The conversation turned to seniors not begin able to get to her own 90th birthday party, or a child not being reunited with a parent, or a family going to bed hungry and the list goes on. PPSC’s core services provide programs to seniors, those at risk of homelessness, families and individuals who need therapy services, youth and adults searching for employment, and improving access to food for our most vulnerable residents.

This community needs PPSC almost more than PPSC needs this community. It wasn’t long after that conversation that it became very clear what a day without PPSC would feel like when the fire storm ravaged our beautiful county. It was PPSC employees and volunteers who strengthened our existing safety-net by helping the evacuated and newly homeless find housing and filling the gap with additional food distribution, while being very intentional about making sure those seniors, families and youth we serve daily got the quality evidence based programs they need. Going forward there will be a strain on the safety-net of services, people in our community who did not need to access programing are now needing support and those we have always called our clients will need additional support.

It is during adversity when one can really a difference. I am going to be blunt; we need your help – more than ever before. We all know these are not the best of times. People all over Petaluma, perhaps even our neighbors, are struggling to make ends meet. 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. During these times, an unprecedented number of our community members need PPSC’s help. A day without PPSC just cannot happen.

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 how 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 46,000 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, Housing, Employment and Petaluma Bounty Farms.

Last year, you stood with me in my dream and made a commitment to help those in need. Will you take that stand again this year? I know you have opportunities each and every day to reach out to those less fortunate, don’t let those opportunities pass you by. 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 difference in the quality of life for your neighbors. It is a simple act of kindness and compassion. Just imagine a day without PPSC. We want to thank you in advance for your support.

It is all about community,

   –elece hempel

Elece Hempel, Executive Director

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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