On Friday, June 17th the Penny Lane leadership team gathered for the first “Summer Fun Day of Service.” It was great to re-connect with one another, thanks in part to Covid restrictions starting to ease, as we serve our community. The day began with the leadership team engaging in some team building activities focusing on effective communication and the power of intentional and genuine compliments. We then wrapped up the day by giving back to our clients and community in an immediate and direct way.
Every day Penny Lane strives to support our communities through the various programs that are offered, but today, we wanted to provide our clients and communities with something more to help kick off the summer. Together the leadership team packed over 400 bags of summer fun which included toiletries, shoes, socks, sweaters, toys, games, make-up and bedding.
By far, the highlight of the day was handing out Summer Fun bags to our neighbors in North Hills. Some staff were on the sidewalks, encouraging passersby to stop in, while others continued to pack bags. Our very first clients of the day were two unhoused men. They sat, had some lunch, changed into their new shoes and explored the other goodies in the bags. Soon, the word got out and we were able to distribute bags until there was little left to give. The smiles on the faces of the children as they received new toys and shoes was priceless and their caregivers were overwhelmed by the abundance of items they received.
Having managed the myriad of challenges and distance imposed on us by Covid it was a great to finally be able to come together to do what we do best: give back to our community. It was a day filled with emotion and gratitude. We are so happy to be able to continue to be of service to others and to share what we do and how we do it with our community.
Our first Penny Lane hosted onsite Antelope Valley (Lancaster) job fair was held on June 13th and was a success! A huge thanks to our Regional Directors, Office Manager, IT and everyone involved in helping to put together this event. We had the wonderful opportunity of meeting compassionate and dedicated job seekers looking for an opportunity to grow in their career paths and to make a difference in our community. It was also a great opportunity for candidates to learn about Penny Lane and the services we provide to our communities through our various programs and potentially be scheduled for onsite interviews for positions of interest. We are excited to announce we have selected a couple of these candidates to join our Penny Lane team!!
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Carla Istupe-Salgado (center) is a Case Manager in the North Hills Clinic. She has been with Penny Lane for about 5 years . In June she graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN) with a Masters of Social Work. Carla has also been an active member of the North Hills East Neighborhood Council (NHENC) for about 5 years where she continues to support and give back to the community. On June 16th, Carla’s fellow board members and her case management team threw Carla a small graduation celebration in the North Hills Clinic for all her hard work!
Partnerships for Families (PFF Commerce) made some deliveries to PFF clients with some goodies such as comforters, pillows, flowers, make-up, books, etc. We want to thank Baby2Baby and Trader Joe’s for their donations to Penny Lane Centers. Their donations allowed us to add more goods to these deliveries and to assist families in time of need.
Thanks to the dedication of our very own Dianne Kennedy, this past June Penny Lane Centers hosted L.A. County Mobile Vote Centers at our Commerce, North Hills and Antelope Valley Family Centers. The Centers were open to all- the community, staff, families and youth! There was no need to register you just had to show up during the times listed and place your vote! The Mobile Vote Centers provided the same services as traditional Vote Centers. The VSAP Mobile Voting Program allows the Los Angeles County Registrar- Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) to meet the voting needs of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; a voting solution for everyone!
It was so nice to see so many people come down to Penny Lane Centers and VOTE! Your voice matters here!
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On Friday, 06/24/2022 our relative caregivers and foster families got together along with their children for a long overdue picnic! Thanks to Ares Management, who helped coordinate and support this event. Ares and Logix provided a great group of volunteers who were able to do face painting, activities, distribute food, and in general have fun with our children and families. It was the first time getting together in person as a group since the pandemic began. We had over 40 families and their children enjoying the carnival games and activities as well as hot dogs and ice cream from the Der Wienerschnitzel truck! The families were able to relax and enjoy a day at the park. We are so grateful for the volunteers that spent the day with our families and incredibly grateful for our families who have continued to provide love and support for the children in their care.
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This past June we attended several Pride events to promote and support the LGBTQ youth we work with across all our programs. Rafael Lopez, our Peer Support Specialist from our Commerce Family Center shared some of his thoughts on this year's Pride events.
For many LGBTQ+ June is a month full of celebration, joy, love and history. Every year pride month commemorates and celebrates LGBTQ+ culture and the activism from people who continue to fight for equality and justice for our community. The Stonewall Riot in June 1969 marks a milestone in LGBTQ+ History when a group of LGBTQ+ folks stood up to police officers and fought back against all the injustice faced by members of the community. To mark this milestone many organizations have made it a mission to celebrate the month of June and create awareness/ safe space for LGBTQ+ members.
Penny Lane Centers has been a huge support to people in LGBTQ+ community by creating new programs to address the unmet needs of LGBTQ community. Throughout the month of June, PLC has participated in various events around LA county sharing information about our LGBTQ+ services. We have been to gatherings and festivals and many events in places like Pasadena, Lakewood, La Puente, Monterey Park and Hollywood. A great thing about these past events was learning that many cities have collaborated to create a safer space for the LGBTQ+ community. We hope to have other cities join the movement as we create a world that is safe for everyone. We are grateful for all the support and positive feedback we have gotten from everyone. Pride month is not just celebrated on June but every single day.
Happy 2022 Pride!
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On Tuesday, July 12th PLC will be joining forces with Huntington Hospital to conduct a mobile blood drive. The Bloodmobile will be parked at the North Hills office ready to take your donation. We often feel helpless about the many tragic events that occur in our society. The Gift of Life is one way we can stand up, give back and save lives!!!
“For Huntington Hospital, the more blood we collect, the better as we’ll be able to help more patients. Each donor will help save 2 lives or more depending on the blood type.” -Judy Grant, Penny Lane Centers
To donate blood, please RSVP to Judy Grant- firstname.lastname@example.org