To our "Happy Holiday Helpers": Many thanks for your kind and generous help with Saturday’s Holiday Crafternoon, sponsored by our group with the help of OpenHouse, which provides housing and support services to local LGBTQ seniors. We truly could not have done it without you.
For those who couldn't join us, we provided multiple craft stations: Painting, Ornament Decorating, Gift Wrapping, Card Writing, Photobooth and Cookie Decorating. Where both the seniors and volunteers had the opportunity to get creative and share stories with eachother.
Before the event began, Openhouse held a 45 min training presentation. In the training, we learned some harrowing statistics—most of them correctly guessed by the smart Girl Scouts in the crowd—affecting the estimated 20,000 LBGTQ seniors living in the Bay Area who still face extreme discrimination and ostracism. We also learned about the power of inclusion and of being a supportive ally who has the bravery to reach across the differences to ensure others’ rights and dignity.
You walked that walk by being a supportive ally to the seniors who came, decorated ornaments and cards and cookies, made paintings, shared refreshments—and were made to feel special rather than invisible. In the photobooth station, guest gave us their biggest smiles and were thrilled to have a polaroid copy of that moment. Some even said that it's been years since they've had a photo taken of them.
One man, who came all the way from the East Bay in a wheelchair, said before he left: “Thank you so much. You all have helped make this my best Christmas ever.”