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Written by Christina Drislane Associate Director of MOS As of November 1, 2011, Masonic Outreach Services is helping 244 people to secure housing, medical care, medications, food, and other necessities. Of those 244 people, 175 receive financial support and 69 receive assistance by way of case management and resource navigation. Masonic Outreach Services is comprised of three different areas, Masonic Assistance/ Central Intake, Masonic Senior Outreach Services and Masonic Family Outreach Services. These services were developed to provide assistance to Masons, wives and widows of Masons and mothers of Masons who do not live in one of the Masonic Homes. While the lodges remain the first resource for assistance, many lodges do not have either the financial resources or the social services experience to navigate the changing landscape of programs and services available in the community. Masonic Outreach Services provide case management, and financial assistance to help those experiencing situational or lifelong challenges to explore their options create a plan. Everything begins with a call to Masonic Assistance / Central Intake. There, the staff will listen to the caller’s concerns and provide information on Masonic Outreach Services and the Masonic Homes, as well as any other resources or referrals that they can locate quickly in the area. If more assistance is needed, they will be put in contact with a Care manager from Masonic Outreach Services to assist them with their concerns. The Central Intake / Masonic Assistance staff also initiates the process for all applications for either of the Masonic Homes or Masonic Senior and Family Outreach Services. Masonic Senior Outreach Services serves those in the community who are over the age of sixty. Case management can be provided immediately, while there is an application process for those who request financial assistance. In order to qualify for financial assistance, the applicant must be a Mason, or widow of a Mason, or a mother of a Mason. The associated Mason must be in good standing with his lodge for the preceding five year period, or was in good standing with his lodge for at least five years prior to his death. A staff member meets with all applicants to discuss expenses and income, and works with the applicant to create a plan to move forward after all of the application documents have been submitted. The final step in this process is for staff to present the request for assistance to a committee made up of
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Message from the Executive Director
Somehow, not only for the holiday season, but all year through, the joy we give to others is the joy that returns to us. The more we all spend in blessing and gratitude, the more our hearts possess happiness. Holiday Events December 5th Tree Lighting with Cookie Sampling / Auditorium / 2:00 pm December 8th Resident Holiday Dinner Main Dining Room / 5:00 pm December 13th Annual Tree Lighting 5:00 pm December 19th East Bay PM & PP Christmas Party / Auditorium / 1:30 pm December 31st New Year’s Eve Party Auditorium / 11:00 pm
Happy Holidays! Dixie
Messenger—December 2011—Page 2
The Chaplain’s Corner
by Chaplain Joel Ingram
It’s December and time for so many Holiday Celebrations! So this month’s “Chaplain’s Corner” is dedicated to all that’s going on in connection to Pastoral Care this year. First is our Christmas Eve Service. Our planning meeting for this event will be on Thursday, December 8th at 10:00 a.m. In the past, our program has included special readings by residents and staff, a Christmas Hymn sing-a-long, a retelling of the Story of the Nativity and light refreshments. No matter what our program entails this year one thing is for sure, we’d like to have you join us! The Service will be on December 24th (a Saturday night) at 6:30 pm in the Auditorium. Mark your calendars and join us. Won’t you? Next, is our Annual Adopt-A-Family Program. This year, we will again be providing a special Christmas for six families in our immediate community. We make every effort to make sure we’re choosing families that would not have much of a Christmas, but for our assistance. We typically purchase 1 or 2 practical gifts per person (including mom and dad) along with 1 or 2 gifts of choice. For example: a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans and a scooter. There are many things residents can do to be a part of this worthwhile project. These include: Santa’s Helpers: Signing up to be a “Santa’s Helper”. Helpers work in teams of at least two and purchase gifts for one of our families. Resident “helpers” should have their own transportation and be physically up to the hussle and tussle of holiday shopping. If you’d like to be one of “Santa’s Helpers” (we need at least 12 helpers), please sign up on the signup sheets by the mailroom or contact me by phone directly at extension 26424. Gift Wrapping: Join us for our Gift Wrapping Party. On December 21st at 6:30 pm we’ll be wrapping up all the gifts for our families. We’ll be meeting in the Auditorium and have light refreshments. Bring your own scissor/tape if you can. Come join us… its lots of fun! Financial Support: As you can imagine, it takes money to make this program successful each year. But for special cases, we spend less than $100 per person/per family. This means, we spend approximately $30 per family for food, and for a family of four we will spend no more than $370 for all the rest. Many times, the requests we receive include a “family” gift as well, such as dishes or a blanket for the sofa. Six families of four make a budget of $2400 plus wrapping paper, decorative bags and such. We will be “tracking” our donations for the year on Channel 15. You should have received a donation letter in your mailboxes already but if not, just wait – it’s coming. Donations can be dropped off at: Messenger—December 2011—Page 3
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The 411 on Resident Services
by Sandra Mirasol, Director of Resident Services
There is more to life than just increasing its speed. – Ghandi One of my most memorable Christmas days was when I was an On Call Communication Clerk working at the Front Desk about 9 years ago. I was working the night shift and I received a call from a resident wanting to make a long distance call to her husband. I took down the information she gave me and called the nurse on the floor because I knew that this resident was a widow. The nurse confirmed this and said that the resident wasn’t remembering that her husband had passed away a long time ago. The nurse said she’d speak to the resident and I left it at that. After 10 minutes, the phone rings and it’s the same resident asking again for assistance to place a long distance call to her husband but this time she hung up after giving me the information. I called the nurse again to let her know and the nurse told me that the resident might call me even if she speaks to her because she’s forgetful. I didn’t think too much about it and continued to work. After about 20 – 30 minutes the resident calls and does the same thing but this time sounded teary. After she hung up, I thought “What should I do?” Then I thought, “What could I do?” I called the resident back and this time I said “I placed the call to your husband but he’s unavailable at this time. He apologizes but he’s busy at work and would like me to let you know that he misses you and wishes you a very Merry Christmas!” The resident thanked me for the message, wishes me a Merry Christmas and says that she’s sorry I had to work on Christmas day. We chatted for a while and I wished her a Merry Christmas again. To be honest, I was worried and wondered if I had done the right thing or if I’d get in trouble for this. I was wondering what to do if she called back. Luckily for me she didn’t and when I checked in with the nurse later, she told me that the resident was doing well and asleep. I told my supervisor what I’d done, just in case. This resident called me from time to time during my shifts and we’d chat for a while (sometimes she’d forget my name, that we’d talked before and I’d have to reintroduce myself). I found that her husband had been in the military and after the military he had a job wherein he traveled a lot. I learned that night that if we take the time to truly listen, think and care enough to do something different to help another we gain experiences and lessons that last a lifetime. We also meet some amazing people along the way.
Messenger—December 2011—Page 4
Jacqueline Miranda Sponsoring Lodge: Pittsburg #429 City: Pittsburg Moved in on November 28, 2011
Marilyn Wellman Sponsoring Lodge: Island #215 City: Alameda Moved in on November 30, 2011
We turn not older with years, but newer every day. ~Emily Dickinson
Messenger—December 2011—Page 5
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
By Rose Monroe
“Knock, Knock, Who’s There?”
I began searching for a Christmas Closed Door column late in October. I had even asked a couple of people I thought could illustrate the holiday spirit, only to decide they would be better subjects for another, less symbolic month. So I took to praying about it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when those prayers were answered. On Veterans Day, I took two guests over to show them the Cartoon Corner in our Home’s Family Room. There, in case you didn't see them, were John Dahle's 16 "Bah Humbug Christmas cartoons." You wouldn't have to be a psychiatrist to see the little boy, who hated Christmas controlling the pen of this cartoonist. I had avoided Big John since July of 2010 when I first moved into the Home having made a snap judgment about something he said when I introduced my daughter to the men at the table he was sitting at back then. But those 16 Cartoons spoke loud and clear. John had had a broken childhood. Back in the 20th Century Masons cared about the children of broken families. It was time I wrote about it. So first I got up the courage to ask John at the salad bar if I could interview him. Then on Sunday, November 13th, I went knocking at N401, notebook in hand. The room I entered was dark, sparsely furnished, more like a monk's cell than what I had expected. There were only 4 pictures on the wall I faced, as John pulled up the 2nd recliner for me. One of them was the drawing of his 2 sons that I had already seen displayed in our Family Room a month or two earlier. It was in stark contrast to the lovingly furnished rooms I'd written about for the past few months. It prepared me for the story Big John began sharing with me: the story of his life. Born July 20, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, to children of Swedish immigrants, John was moved back to Erie, Pennsylvania, when the Depression devastated his parents who had no resources. In those days, there was no government system to fall back on. Impoverished parents had to separate and put the children they couldn't care for into county run homes. John’s face may be calm, but the pain was in Bah Humbug cartoons as he tells me that from 8 to 16 years of age he resided in "The Home for the Friendless." He later mentioned a memory of his grandfather telling his mother to “Take your bastards and go.” Hard words for a child to hear. Hard words for a wife and mother. Hard words for an unemployed father when there is no work for John’s mother, only temporary jobs for his father in and around Erie, Pennsylvania. Who are we to judge what went on within that marriage? John in his cold room says, “I hated every moment of it.” His father sent money when he could provide it so there was no chance for adoption. We didn’t talk about it but I’ve known a few children like him who became adoptee/ indentured servants to farmers and business owners needing cheap help. The Masonic Homes for children were built for children like John. He just wasn’t lucky enough to get into one. In Homes for the Friendless, impoverished mothers and fathers came and offered, took and left, came and went, promised to come and didn’t appear. Through it all, John had one gift that no one could take away. The gift of a sharp cartooning eye. He still uses it, ruthlessly sometimes. Messenger—December 2011—Page 6 Continues on page 9
November Guess Who Answer:
If you thought Count Basie … you were right!
Can you guess who this cutie is?
Messenger—December 2011—Page 7
Resident Bill Bergdahl Resident Harry Mitchell
We Honor our Veteran’s November 11, 2011
Residents Larry and Dorthy Hollomon Performers from the Livermore Youth Orchestra
Messenger—December 2011—Page 8
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At 15 years of age, his father finally had enough money to rescue his only son. At 16 years of age John grew 7 inches in one year to a height of 6 ft. 5 1/2 inches. At his father’s urging he went to summer school to escape being drafted at 18 only to graduate in June, turn 18 in July and have his father enroll him in the Navy the following day in 1944. He was actually on Guam when the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. But see how the pattern repeats itself . After the war John is back living in Erie, Pennsylvania; married, working at Louis Marx, the world's largest toy manufacturer. Now it is John and his wife's turn to endure a divorce with 3 children. The wife takes the daughter, John gets the 2 boys, but can’t afford to keep them. He places his sons in a Catholic orphanage to protect them from this wife. She comes and takes the eldest boy. John had to hide behind a tree to kidnap and promise Disneyland to this 11 year old to entice him away from the ex-wife who already had his daughter. John by this time has moved to California and is working as a commercial artist at Hughes Aeronautics. He says they were doing well for a while: avoiding women, living the male life of pizzas and no baths when unexpected fortune smiles on him. At the Tip Toppers Club in L.A., he meets 6 ft. 2 in. tall Beverly. In a few short weeks they marry, and he has 40 years of "living with an angel." He took early retirement from Hughes at 55 and they retired to Nevada City. But before I get to the sad part, let me tell you that John told me that he wakes up every morning with a song in his heart. A song that runs through his life all day. John Edgar Dahle will have son John Robert Edgar Dahle and his wife Trish moving into our Masonic Home either before or shortly after Christmas. The little boy who suffered the devastating childhood of a "Depression/Orphanage Child" for 8 years will be ending his life with a family that he loves and that loves him. How's that for a Christmas story? To top it off, both John Dahles have been Past Masters of Lodge #13 in Nevada City, California and they are the only father/son team in the Lodge to have been so honored. They have another gift in common: Both father and son are talented artists. For 10 years they earned thousands of dollars working as a two-some painting colorful huge Christmas scenes on businesses windows in and around Nevada City, Roseville and nearby towns to help merchants attract customers and celebrate the Christmas season. But back to the story; unable to have children, Beverly and John adopted a developmentally handicapped child, raised him along with his boys until at 40 years of age he died in a swimming accident due to an epileptic seizure. Thirty days later, his Beverly dies of an aneurism. "That was about 10 years ago," John answered, concluding his story. On April 13, 2010, John Dahle moved into our family here at the Home. Christmas brings us many gifts, not all wrapped in sparkly packages. This year I learned again not to judge a person by one incident that I take personally. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. So, I wish you a Christmas when your prayers are answered. Whatever they may be; containing inside their wrappings the only gift the season promises: the gift of peace.
Messenger—December 2011—Page 9
MAINSTREAM OF AMERICA SERIES
Steve Gassett, PM, HA, LOH
It is with great regret that we announce that Steve Gassett has passed away this month. He was a wonderful contributor to the Messenger and his monthly articles will be missed. Staff and residents have to commend him for his monthly commitment and dedication to the Messenger.
Messenger—December 2011—Page 10
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Board Members who will review the request. Masonic Family Outreach Services serves those under the age of sixty, and generally provides assistance for a short period of time, with a focus on self-sufficiency and case management. Much the same as the Masonic Senior Outreach Services, case management can be provided immediately. The focus in this program is to assist as much as possible through resource referrals in order to help the Mason get to a place of self-sufficiency. The Masonic Outreach Service and Masonic Assistance / Central Intake office is located on the 3rd floor of the Head Building in Union City, and in the Family Resource Center in Covina. The contact number is 1-888-466-3642 to the Central Intake Line. If you have a concern about someone who lives outside of the Masonic Homes and may need help, please urge that person to call our office to see if we can be of assistance, or ask them if they would welcome a call from staff. We would love to hear from you.
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the special collection box at church on Sundays in the Dining Room waiting area drop box at PBX (until Dec. 24th)
Finally, on December 27th at 8:00 pm, there will be a special Hanukah Presentation by Irwin Fershleiser. Want to know what Hanukah is all about? Why not come join in, it’s sure to be a fun, informative and blessed time. If you have questions about any of our programs, give me a call at extension 26424. I wish a most wonderful holiday season to each of you (be that Hanukah, Kwanza or Christmas) and to your extended families as well. We have much to be thankful for this year don’t you think? Until next month,
Messenger—December 2011—Page 11
Residents Helping Keep Veterans Warm
By Carolee Rodrigo Assistant Director of Active Living
Throughout the year of 2011 – Betty Ehly and Maxine Silverman have been working with the ladies who knit in 2nd Adams Craft room on Wednesday mornings. In the years past, the ladies have knitted or crocheted lap blankets for the Veterans. This year the mission was to knit or crochet as many blankets as they could for the Veterans who live in the Skilled Nursing at the Menlo Park VA by November. The ladies saw Betty and Maxine’s challenge and knitted and crocheted away. By the time of the trip on Nov 10th they had completed 69 afghans! This number stunned them all! The ladies of the knitting group also put together 60 snack packs to give them as well. Not only were there afghans and snack packs, but the group took over 3 boxes of donated books for the Veterans who are in the Homeless program and those who live in skilled nursing. The trip was a gratifying one wherein the group was able to spend time with the Veterans who live there and really show their gratitude for all they have sacrificed for our freedom.
From Left to Right: Residents Helen Reneau, Betty Ehly and Nadine Woods assemble goody bags for the veterans
Messenger—December 2011—Page 12
Active Aging Monthly News
By Penny Vittoria Lifestyle Coordinator The importance of strength and resistance training for adults should not be underestimated. Research has shown that strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strength training is an essential part a fitness regimen, along with activities that focus on cardiovascular endurance and stretching. At the Grider Gym, strength and resistance training are incorporated into the various exercise classes. You can also take advantage of the gym equipment and pool to get your strength training. As we age, poor balance and flexibility contribute to falls and broken bones. These fractures can result in significant disability, loss of independence and, in some cases, fatal complications. Strengthening exercises, when done properly, can increase a person's flexibility and balance, which decreases the likelihood and severity of falls. Strength training can also increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. When we participate in regular exercise programs, our self-confidence and self-esteem can improve, which has a strong impact on our overall quality of life and sense of well-being. Also, people who exercise regularly enjoy improved sleep quality. They fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often and sleep longer. Please remember, it is important to get approval from your physician before starting any exercise regime and always listen to your body. If an exercise makes a joint or preexisting condition worse, do not do it. If you participate in an exercise program you are not obligated to do every exercise. Modifications should be made if you have limitations which prevent you from doing specific exercises. Any exercise done safely and properly can enhance our quality of life, as it enables us to better perform daily activities. When we become stronger, we feel more confident in everything we do. Are you getting sufficient exercise as well as strength and resistance training? Stop by the Grider Health Center and positively affect your health and well-being. Are you already doing it? Be a good friend and bring someone with you!
Messenger—December 2011—Page 13
Thursday, December 1 3:00 p.m.— Active Living Planning Meeting—2nd Adams Dining Room Monday, December 5 9:00 a.m. Tour Guide - Host & Hostess Meeting / 2nd Adams Crafts Room Tuesday, December 6 9:30 a.m.-Low Vision Support Group—2nd Adams Living Room. No Fireside Chat in the month of December Wednesday, December 21 10:00 a.m.—Resident Food Advisory Committee— 2nd Adams Living Room Wednesday, December 21 3:00 p.m.—Welcoming Committee — 3rd Wollenberg Monday, December 19 9:45 a.m. — Chapel Committee — Meditation Chapel No Women’s Forum until February 5, 2012 No Special Friends Meeting until January 16, 2012 No Emergency & Disaster Team Meeting in the month of December No Town Hall Meeting in the month of December
Weekly or Semi-Weekly
Sunday Worship Sundays, 10:00 a.m., Siminoff Ceramics Group Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m. 2nd Adams Ceramics Room Bible Study Mondays, 10:30 a.m., 4th Lorber Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., 2nd Adams Crafts room. Women’s Forum 1st & 3rd Mondays, 1:30 p.m. 2nd Adams Living Room Men’s Open Forum Monday, 10:30 a.m. 3rd Lorber Dining Room Emergency Team Last Tuesday of the month 2:00 pm, Board Room Choir Practice Sundays, 9:00 a.m., Siminoff Chapel Wednesday, 3:10 p.m., Siminoff Chapel Song & Prayer Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m., 3rd Lorber Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., 4th Lorber Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m., Traditions
The official “Lost and Found” for the Home is located at PBX in the Head building. If you’ve lost something— check there first. If you’ve found something—take it there first. If you have further questions, you can find answers at . . . PBX. Please report losses as soon as possible. Messenger—December 2011—Page 14
For ARTS & CRAFTS PROGRAMMING Consult your ACTIVE LIVING EVENT CALENDAR.
Peggy McCain Bob Huntington Sarah Brewer Homer Harlan Aileen Hoff Jo Scott Mike Kilbury Dorothy Cox John Bull Artie Beech George Fisher Alma Smith Luz Strassburger Ralph Siegel Bess Harrison Betty Newman Charlene Harris Rose Monroe Bessie Moyer Noelle Hudson Jeanne Ivey Willa Rae Gordon Tom DeBenning 12/2 12/3 12/4 12/5 Residents Bill & Eileen Bergdahl Mort & Lila Collis Marvin & Betty Scriber Ann. Date 12/5 12/12 12/17 Yrs 66 63 51
12/7 12/12 12/13 12/15
Eugene Priddy November 1, 2011 Sponsoring Lodge: Corinthian-Hammonton #9
12/18 12/20 12/22 12/23 12/25 12/27 12/28 12/30
Lilly Birchenall November 2, 2011 Sponsoring Lodge: Santa Cruz-San Lorenzo Valley #38 Valley
Arthur Vogt November 3, 2011 Sponsoring Lodge: Fort Crook #250 Rosser “Doc” Adamson November 4, 2011 Sponsoring Lodge: Sunset #369 Stephen “Steve” Gassett November 15, 2011 Sponsoring Lodge: Anaheim #207
Messenger—December 2011—Page 15
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
PERMIT No. 100
Address Service Requested
The Messenger is published monthly as a vehicle of communication and entertainment for the residents and staff of the Masonic Home at Union City with a focus on sharing information about residents, Home activities, and items of interest to the “Masonic Family.”
Proofreaders: Residents: Carol Yowell & Rose Monroe Employees: Ola Afolabi, Lovedeep Jhamat and Sandy Worley Distribution: Residents: Virgil Land, Pat Olson, Woody Hibbs, Bess Harrison & Evelyn Mull Photography: George Wilkerson & Friends Editor: Merryn Oliveira, Director of Active Living Messenger Online: http://www.masonichome.org —select “News,” select “Union City Resident Newsletter.” To view photos of resident and staff activities: http://photos.mhcuc.org
Table of Contents — December 2011 Masonic Outreach Services…...…………….......1 Executive Director’s Message……………….….2 Chaplain’s Corner………………………………3 The 411 on Resident Services……...….…….….4 New Residents….……………………...…..…...5 Behind Closed Doors...………..………………..6 John Dahle Cartoon/ Guess Who……………….7 Previous Month’s Activities………….…………8 Behind Closed Cont………………...….…….....9 Steve Gassett…………………………………..10 Masonic Outreach Cont/ Chaplain Cont........…11 Keeping Veteran’s Warm...……………………12 Active Aging Monthly News…………….……13 Meetings……………………………………….14 Birthdays, Anniversaries, In Memoriam….…...15 You’re Lookin’ At It…………………….…….16
Messenger—December 2011—Page 16
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