​“Just as we remember her” – Week 470 at Many Meals January 17, 2018

I prepared you for Carol to pass away and she did last Friday around midnight. It was expected but still bitter in many ways. She didn’t have to die at the age of 49.  If only she had taken care of herself and allowed the system to operate. She was very fortunate to have received significant attention from people who know how to make things happen. But, if you don’t know what addiction feels like and how it controls your brain and motivates your behavior, you can’t know how hard it is to do the work of sobriety.

Her girls are very smart, talented and educated. They live their lives in the sunlight and have brought pride to our community and​  to the woman who raised them and to their mother. They organized a memorial for her at the Park on Sunday afternoon. It was the perfect setting but I felt like I was in the wrong place.

They chose a picture of Carol at the age of about 20 years old. She very beautiful, still innocent and unscathed by the ravages that would come.  They spoke sweet words about her life and challenges and struggles. Some of her friends spoke about her as though she lived a charmed life. Some came to the service who had stolen from her, sold her drugs and shut the door when she needed lodging, food and clothes.

I thought I was at the wrong service and felt the deepest pain. I realized the picture on her memorial folder and the sweet words spoken by daughters were of memories of the mother they want to remember. I will give them that. I left quietly with no words to speak until now.

Latino Town Hall and LULAC are working hard together to provide for the 11 families who were displaced at Limoneira Ranch. Thanks to Tresierras Supermarket, we received a generous year end gift and we shared it with Latino Town Hall, trustworthy colleagues who are doing such good work. Thank you to Art Tresierras for the vision and the gift.

The wonderful Jill Wallerstedt helped me complete a grant for a share of the Community Development Block Grant Funds being given to the County to benefit the homeless population. One of our grant requests is to fund the placement of four porta potties and trash bins in strategic locations to help with the obvious. Some would say the City of Santa Paula should do this, but I say “someone” should do it. We’ll see if we get funding.

The date that works for all for the formal launch event for the Care Pod in Santa Paula is Friday February 23 at 10:30 a.m.  I invite all of you to witness this innovate and very important piece of the Whole Person Care Program. I want you to meet the wonderful professionals who bring this to our community in our efforts to end, (that is END) homelessness in Santa Paula.

Our meal tomorrow is Shepherd’s Pie with mashed potatoes and gravy, marinated cucumbers, cooked butter carrots (thank you Garman’s Pub), rolls and butter and fresh tangerines. This is often the most nutritious meal of the week for many.

Thank you to all who help us with our work. We have a goal and a mission behind all of it. The motivation is to “love our neighbor.” They may not live next door, but they are in the neighborhood.

Kay Wilson-Bolton, Volunteer Director

SPIRIT of Santa Paula

a 501C3 Corporation founded in 2002
Serving the Least Powerful and Most Vulnerable in our Community
805.340.5025
About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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