Client Spotlight

Yvonne Davis - September 2014

Each month, a client at SFBFS is featured for success and growth. This month’s client spotlight is:

Yvonne Davis starts each morning by taking a walk along the Sacramento River. Every day she wished she could put her toes in the water, something she had never tried before. When Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ (SFBFS) volunteer Marsha Kawahara stopped by for their weekly visit during the week of Yvonne’s 80th birthday, the pair decided to go for one of their longer walks down the levy. Yvonne shared her dream of putting her feet in the river.

“What timing,” Marsha said. “Yvonne told me that it was on her bucket list to put her feet in the river. So we walked to the levy and I found a safe spot for us to access the water. I’m happy that I helped her cross one exciting thing off her list!”

Yvonne

“That was something I always wanted to do,” Yvonne says. “I got that out of my system and I am so glad I got to do it with Marsha.”

Yvonne’s husband passed away in 2009 leaving Yvonne to live alone. Her children settled in the Midwest and visit from Wisconsin once or twice per year.  “It took me some time to gain confidence in doing things on my own,” Yvonne says. She slowly began to reach out to her community for help with daily tasks.

Yvonne now attends a weekly bible study and sees her neighbors a few times each week. With those activities and visits from SFBFS volunteer, Marsha, Yvonne feels much more confident in her ability to live independently. Marsha brings groceries from SFBFS, including fresh fruits and vegetables, during one of her monthly visits. “The food sure comes in handy,” Yvonne says.  

SFBFS’ Senior program focuses on the importance of nutrition and social interaction for seniors who do not have families or friends nearby with limited access to senior-oriented resources. All seniors are referred to SFBFS from Eskaton’s Telephone Reassurance Program and thank volunteers repeatedly for the food and companionship.

Our Senior program serves isolated seniors by empowering individuals to maintain their independence, become more active and build relationships with their volunteer visitors. In return, volunteers are rewarded with the knowledge that their time and efforts greatly increase the happiness and health of each senior they serve.

Visiting at least three times each month for the past year, Yvonne and Marsha developed a close bond. “Marsha is a keeper,” Yvonne shares. “I look forward to our conversations and her companionship every week. I feel more confident going for a longer walk when she’s with me.”

Please know your support of SFBFS through the Senior program ensures food and companionship make it to those who need it most. 

 

Click on a link below to read archived Client Spotlights:

September 2014 - Yvonne Davis (Senior)
August 2014 - Rahimi Family (Youth Education)
July 2014 - Kevin Wiley (Parent Education)
June 2014 - Krash Munoz (Youth Education)
May 2014 - Virgina Saucedo (Adult Education) 
April 2014 - Sherrie Kelley (Food - Garden)
March 2014 - Theodore Williams (Food)
February 2014 - Maria Perez (Parent Education) 
January 2014 - Francine Murchinson (Clothing)
December 2013 - Johnson Family (SMUD)
December 2013 - Yelena Demchik (Food)
November 2013 - Kenyatta Clark (Food) 
October 2013 - Frank and Janet (Food)
October 2013 - Julie Bucsit (Food - Garden)
September 2013 - Javier Martinez (Adult Education)
September 2013 - Jennifer McCoy (Food - Garden)
August 2013 - Hassan Abdullah (Clothing)
July 2013 - Jesse Rodriguez (Youth Ed)
June 2013 - Minnie Counts (Food, Garden)
May 2013 - Christina Bordenave (Parent Ed)
April 2013 - Gertrude Byrd (Senior)

 

 




 

April 2013 - Cynthia Ryan (Food)
March 2013 - Diana Licon (Youth Education)
March 2013 - Alicia Brown (Food)
February 2013 - Gabriela Enriquez (Parent Ed)
December 2012 - Cynthia Robertson (Clothing)
November 2012 - Naomi Fox (SMUD)
October 2012 - Gayle and Calith (Food)
September 2012 - Veronica Lopez (Adult Ed)
August 2012 - Ossie Townsend (Food)
July 2012 - Moria Osario (Adult Education)
June 2012 - Gigi Winther (Senior)
May 2012 - Joyce & Christian (Parent Ed)
April 2012 - Yuvonda McNeal (Adult Education)
March 2012 - April Hewlett (Adult Education)
February 2012 - Diego Aguilar (Youth Ed)
January 2012 - Oleksandr and Olga (Parent Ed)
November 2011 - Maria Delgado (Mother-Baby)
October 2011 - Carl & Collette (Clothing)

Volunteer Spotlight – October 2011
Yolanda Moore

yolanda.jpgYolanda Moore originally came to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) about five years ago when she was taking art classes at a local community college. She heard, by word of mouth, about a free art program for women in Sacramento, offered at a local non-profit organization. She became intrigued with the idea decided to check it out. What she found was the Women’s Wisdom Art program at SFBFS, a free art group for women from diverse backgrounds, who come together to support one another, learn new skills, and gain self-confidence and creativity. Yolanda felt very at home and started to gain confidence in her artistic abilities.

yolanda_1.jpgAfter attending classes, she decided to pursue her degree in Art at Sacramento State University. Her classes began to take up the majority of her time. Eventually she approached Helen Plenert, Women’s Wisdom Art Program Manager, to inform her that she no longer had time to participate in the program and needed to commit full time to her Sac State classes. Although Helen and the other students were sad to see Yolanda leave, it made them happy that she was pursuing a lifelong goal. By setting such a goal and steadfastly working toward it, Yolanda was unknowingly inspiring others in the program. “Even as a student, she was always a huge help in the classroom,” says Helen. “I asked her to consider coming back as a volunteer someday. It was just over a year ago when she walked back in to begin volunteer work for us. “

In 2010, Yolanda returned to SFBFS after receiving her degree as a volunteer for the Women’s Wisdom Art program.  As a volunteer, Yolanda offers support to the students in the program. “Every day is different,” says Yolanda. She typically arrives before any classes start, working with the instructors and pulling out all the necessary materials. The women often ask for help finding a certain item or ask for Yolanda’s opinion on a project. “Every woman has her own style when it comes to art,” she comments. “I try to give my opinion to them while at the same time making sure it doesn’t interfere with their own ideas.” Yolanda’s favorite part of volunteering is seeing students progress. Oftentimes students arrive unsure and afraid that they can’t create something worthwhile. The nature of the program allows them to freely express themselves and develop creatively. Once a student sees their work displayed on a gallery wall, they feel accomplished and self-confident. “The quality of the artwork created by these women is truly impressive,” says Yolanda.

Helen and the other instructors in the program value each and every day that Yolanda volunteers in the classroom. According to Helen, Yolanda is one of those rare jewels who see what needs to be done and just jumps headfirst in to do it. A new student may need some comforting and Yolanda just sits down next to her as if that was the last seat in the room and strikes up a conversation. Another minute she is up to her elbows in dirty dishes and paint brushes. “It's really a rare moment when I have to ask her to help with something specific because she usually thinks of it before I do. In fact, she may have already done it before I finish asking!” says Helen.

In addition to volunteering, Yolanda can be found painting or drawing on her own time, spending time with her friends, or visiting her family, including her grown children and five grandchildren.

If you are interested in volunteering your time to help someone in need in our community, click here for more information.