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

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

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

A Meals on Wheels regular receiving dinner

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