A Month Full of Gratitude this Past November

December 6, 2023

TAY Friendsgiving Day Meal Tradition Continues

Hello party people! It’s been a wonderful month for us here at the TAY. We’ve had many events in November, that kept us and our youth busy.  This year we continued our tradition of celebrating Friendsgiving, on the 21st.  The TAY staff decided we’d each make a homemade dish for our gathering. Our youth were treated to fried chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, corn, and an assortment of deserts.  

Our TAY youth were also blessed with winter/food basket provided by Michelle Cannon, a teacher from Highland High School, and her AVID students who wanted to give back this holiday season. They came together and gathered 15 baskets worth of items for our youth. These baskets contained food for their own celebrations, snacks, socks, gloves, hats, hygiene items and school supplies. Each basket also included a handwritten letter from the students to our youth, with a gift card.  Our youth are extremely grateful to Mrs. Cannon and her students for their thought filled gesture. Until next time our TAY youth and staff would like to wish everyone a lovely holiday season!

-Alyssa Humphrey, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!

Commerce Hosts a Sound Bath

The Well-Being Committee organized the very first (and hopefully not last) sound bath experience at the Penny Lane Commerce office! A sound bath is a meditative and relaxing full-body experience where people lie down and listen to soothing and healing sounds and frequencies. It’s an invitation into a deeper state of consciousness, an opportunity to unplug and help people relax as well as let go of stress, anxiety, worries or concerns. Due to the small room capacity, the registration filled up fast! All attendees that participated where asked to wear comfortable cloths and to bring their blankets and pillows to lay down comfortably on a yoga mat. The sound bath experience began and filled the room with amazing vibrations and sounds! Staff reported feeling deeply relaxed after the sound bath, and a few staff fell asleep during the sound bath! I’m sure there was more than one person struggling to focus back on work after that healing experience.

-Michael Morellino, Penny Lane Centers

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North Hills Hosts a "Free Community Giveaway"

On Friday November 17th, The North Hills site held our first “Free Community Giveaway” Event for our North Hills community.   The clinic case managers worked closely with our North Hills maintenance team to identify items that could be re-purposed for members of our community.  As offices and programs change, we are committed to finding ways to give new life to items we no longer need or have accumulated as we know how much others could benefit.  Some staff even brought in items from home to donate.  From books and clothing to toys and furniture, our community members were able to leave with items they can use.  We look forward to holding more of these events in the future.  

Special thanks to: Irma Canela, Claudio Maluje, Vanessa Flores, Windy Vasquez-Gonzalez, and Julia Craciun.

-Diane Nunn, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!

5th Annual Housing Thanksgiving Celebration

On November 16th with the help of some amazing volunteers the residents of Penny Lane’s transitional and permanent supportive housing programs in North Hills got treated to some fresh homemade Thanksgiving style dinner.   Turkey, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and so much more was prepared and served by the Kiwanis Club of Chatsworth, Optimist Club of Sherman Oaks/Encino, and volunteers to our residents who sat and enjoyed the food and spent time with the volunteers.  And you may think they forgot but they didn’t forget the dessert as they brought pumpkin and apple pie.   In addition we had some holiday helpers in the form of Penny Lane staff walking around taking candid polaroid pictures of everyone having a good time.  This is something that with the help of different volunteer groups we have been able to provide to our clients to give them that feeling of home and let them know they are cared for.  

Thanks to Edwin Olmedo and Nydia Barakat as well as the Housing Services Management team that helped coordinate the event, spread the word and helped us get a great turnout.  A huge thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Chatsworth and Optimist Club of Sherman Oaks/Encino for the dedication of their members who at their own time and expense purchased and prepared all the food as well as transported it over to North Hills and served it.  The clients were beaming with happiness and full bellies and are extremely grateful to our volunteers.

-Shiva Berjis & Edwin Olmedo, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos of the celebration below!!

Another Successful Thanksgiving Drive-thru for Our Families

When the pandemic started in 2020 it changed many things as we all know.  One thing that Penny Lane did in order to be able to help our many families who struggle with food insecurity and just to make ends meet was start a drive through food give away.   The pandemic may be gone but some of the positive changes remain.  This year Nydia Barakat our Director of Fund Development went to work getting donations in cash and food items, coordinating volunteers, interfacing with programs and working with Cameron Glasgow our Director of Marketing to get the word out that Penny Lane on Saturday 11/18 was once again holding the Thanksgiving Drive Through Event.  

The day of the event we had members of Penny Lane’s Board of Directors, friends and co-workers of board members, Kappa Alph Psi (KAP) fraternity, Girl Scouts Troop #70131- Glendale, Amp Entertainment, Sherman Oaks Business Builders, and all the wonderful volunteers. Of course we also had a number of Penny Lane Staff who started in the morning putting together packages that included not only all the food one would need to prepare a Thanksgiving meal but other items too such as games, bedding, kitchenware and other items families would find useful.  The doors opened at 10am and in a couple of hours over 250 “packages” were distributed for our families receiving services out of our North Hills, North Hollywood, Commerce and Lancaster offices.   There were even people in the neighborhood coming in and carting away whatever we could give them so they too could enjoy a nice Thanksgiving.   Huge thank you to Nydia Barakat who makes it look easy and does it all with a smile on her face and to all the volunteers who help us transform lives and positively impact our communities.

-Bernie LaFianza, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos of the drive-thru below!