top of page

November 2022

Below is the digital version of our November 2022 Newsletter. We have also included the articles in this blog for universal text access.


Accessible Articles below:



BECKY'S CORNER - A note from our Director

November is much more than the month before Christmas and the end of the year. For me, November is the month that holds one of the most important holidays of the year– THANKSGIVING. My reasons for enjoying this holiday include the sentiment of gratitude for all things, the lack of expectations for gifts, the family time sparked by the holiday and, of course, the amazing traditional and family customs food that often accompanies this holiday. What are your reasons for enjoying Thanksgiving? The diagram above is a great framework for adding on every sunbeam something you are grateful for. You can complete one for yourself or you and your family members or friends can complete one as a group.
John F. Kennedy once said “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
Jon F. Kennedy was so right about so many things and this statement is proof of that. I would add that we need not wait until Thanksgiving prompts us to be grateful. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we lived in gratitude every day? The time to thank people is NOW! I want to share a story that happened to me a number of years ago. Joe, Co-founder of CHOICESS, (the supported living agency we started in Southern California) and I had been on the speakers circuit a great deal because of our experience with starting the first supported living agency in California. We spoke to anyone that would listen because we believed passionately that all people, regardless of the severity of their disability, should have the opportunity to choose supported living services above congregate living situations if they believed it would fit them better. We spoke to families, people with disabilities, agencies providing more traditional residential services, regional center staff, advocates, etc. reminding them that they should expect high quality, personalized, flexible supports in all areas of their lives. A number of years after one of these presentations and storytelling events a mother of a person with severe disabilities approached me at a regional center meeting that we were both attending and said that she wanted to thank me. She thought I would not remember the presentation I made the day she heard me but, in fact, I did. She shared that I was the first person who had ignited her interest in supported living services for her son because other professionals had always said he “was not ready”. She said she was filled with hope those many years ago after listening to my words and stories. She wanted to tell me that her son had indeed moved into supported living services and had adjusted very quickly to being out of the group home that he had not been tolerating very well at all. She hugged me and there were tears in her eyes as she spoke. I will never forget how gratifying it felt to have even one person from an audience of some 500 people take the time to thank me for touching her family’s life. And I shared with her my gratitude and thanked her for taking the time to introduce herself again and share with me the impact of my words on her and her son. Her words also inspired me to continue the conversations, preaching, begging, educating and storytelling with new vigor and passion. Joe and I have experienced similar gratitude from many people over the last 33 years and all of it is encouraging to us.
I will share with you that on a recent trip to Colorado to visit our son and daughter-in-law, accompanied by our daughter, Brianna, and our two grandchildren, I came across a coaster in a store and bought one for me and one for him. Although some of the words needed editing for this newsletter, it had a picture of an older woman holding a sign that says “ I can’t believe I still have to protest this stuff.” Who would have known that in 2022 we would still be arguing about the cost of high quality supports, about who is eligible for supported living services, about the standards for all services being inclusive and person centered, about the REAL transition from group living to supported living services involving more than changing the words describing those services and/or changing the service description for 4-6 people to still reside in the same home but call it supported living? We certainly did not predict it nor expect it. However, we are inspired by the number of people and their families that have chosen to move into their own homes and make a life that works for them individually here in California and around the country.
Just last week, we attended a memorial service for a woman that CHOICESS had been supporting for most of the 33 years it has existed. Gaby was 48 years old when she left us here on the planet. I traveled to LA for the service, despite being very busy here, particularly because her mother had contacted me when Gaby passed and said, “You, Sarah (another key CHOICESS staff) and Joe were the first persons to believe in her independence. Thank you so much for caring about my baby.” She found the time even in the midst of the sadness of her daughter’s unexpected passing to “stop and thank the people who ma(d)e a difference in our (their) lives.” She acknowledged us many times at the memorial and reception and it was extremely touching to both of us. All of this comes back to the quote from John F. Kennedy–such simple uncomplicated but highly important words.
I wish for all of you to have a beautiful, peaceful and joy filled November. Enjoy the people you love and who love you. Take the time to thank all those in your world that make it a better place to be. Thank you to each of you from all of us at Harbor Supported Living Services.

Happy Days to Each and every one of you,
Becky


LOVE YOUR LIFE - Write a letter to yourself

❤Take some time to reflect on everything the past year has brought you. Note everything that has gone well, celebrate even the smallest wins and moments of real growth, and point out the ways in which you are proud of yourself.
❤Celebrate yourself; you might even find that the hard bits of this past year carried many unexpected blessings. Write down all the silver linings, the gifts, the learning, the growth.
❤Enter into this next revolution around the sun with the vibration of gratitude and integration.

SPOTLIGHTS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE

Leroy

Leroy Weston Clarke III has a name that sounds like royalty by no accident. He has the taste of a King, strictly following the tea times and admiration of fine jewelry and architecture among the UK. He is constantly seeking out leadership positions, exploring hidden talents/interests, and setting an example for how happy, imaginative and full a person’s life can be. He is truly one of the most intelligent people, always pondering inventive technology advancements and solutions to real-world problems. If all of that weren’t enough, Leroy’s very existence puts a smile on the faces of those around him. When he opens his mouth, those smiles turn to laughter. He is famous in the community of Santa Cruz, seeing familiar faces everywhere he goes. His laughter must echo across the ocean because he is unforgettable to anyone blessed enough to meet him.
LeRoy is such a sweetheart, he can easily make you smile. He is one of my favorite people in the entire world. He is so intelligent, funny, weird, goofy, charismatic, and fun, these are some of the things that I love about him. After all these years of working with LeRoy, he still makes me laugh almost every single time I see him. I love getting science lessons from him, or just hanging out. Leroy is someone I always expect the unexpected with him, no two days will be the same. Leroy gives the best head rubs. I always enjoy spending time with Leroy and hearing his fun facts and history lessons ~ that sometimes seem too bizarre to be true, but fact checking always proves me wrong. Leroy is kind, charismatic, empathetic and hilarious
Leroy is a one of a kind man. Knowing him throughout my life I have come to know that Leroy's energy and impact on the world around him is pretty spectacular. He has a brilliant mind and when he takes you on a journey through his eyes in one of his fantastic stories or scientific lessons it is truly a remarkable experience. He brings people together for fun and connection in such a wonderful way. And more importantly he is a powerful advocate for individuals that receive services in our community and beyond.
I am proud and grateful to know Leroy and continue to discover the endless bits of information he has stored in that squeeze head of his!!. Thank you very much Leroy Clarke...now and always!

Aubrey

Aubrey is a bright light in this world, and I've loved getting to know her in her time working at Harbor. She has been with us for just under a year now, and during that time I have enjoyed watching her grow so much.
Aubrey is creative, authentic, expressive, an ‘outside-the-box’ thinker and she continuously shows how much she cares for the people she supports. She is motivated and takes initiative to make things better in all that she does. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work and grow alongside her.
I truly appreciate many things about Aubrey, her intelligence, kindness, friendliness, and love and passion for what she does. Aubrey would be the last person to admit this but she is truly a shining light in this world, and she is one of those people who you just wish you could clone, but you can't because anyone who knows her is aware that she is truly one of a kind inside and out.
She has been such a wonderful addition to our leadership team here at Harbor SLS. She has a magnetic personality and creative way of being with and supporting the people she works with and her teams as a whole. I am looking forward to continuing to watch Aubrey grow with us and looking forward to many years of working together with her. GO Aubrey, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


NEW FACES OF HARBOR - Welcome to the team Daniela!

Written by Becky Donofrio, HSLS Director

We want to take this opportunity to introduce all of you to our newest Facilitator, Daniela Verar. Daniela comes to Harbor with a rich set of experiences that will enhance her work here. She has worked in supported living services locally with Imagine. She has also worked as a behavior technician at Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Her smile is welcoming and caring and lights up her face and any room. Daniela is fluent in both Spanish and English. She is an excellent problem solver which will serve her well in this new position. She has been spending time with Jonathan, Shanie and Mary observing their individual working styles and meeting the people we support at Harbor. We are very excited to have her begin her work with her new caseload. We look forward to making many memories with Daniela for many years.


RECIPE OF THE MONTH- Cassie's Pumpkin Pie


Ingredients - Makes 2 Pies
2 c pumpkin, one cup per pie
2 pastry pie shells
½ c sugar
1 can, 15oz, sweetened condensed milk
Pinch ginger
2 ½ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten

Instructions
Use real pumpkin (cooking pumpkins are the white ones) Cut pumpkin into sections small enough to fit in a baking dish, discard seeds. Place pumpkin sections in dish, cover with water just until edge of skin. Bake at 375 until soft, about 35-45 min Remove skins from sections and press meat into colander to remove moisture. Reserve two cups Mix all ingredients, do not beat. Pour into pie shells. Place on cookie sheet in 425 oven for 15 min, turn heat down to 325, continue baking for 50-55 min


PUMPKIN PATCH DAY - Goats, hay rides, and smiles!

Written by Brianna Donofrio, HSLS Associate Director

We are so happy to be back in the swing of gathering and going on adventures together as an organization. On October 10th we were able to go as a group to Lemo's Farm in Half Moon Bay for some incredible pumpkin patch fun! Many of the people we support joined us along with staff and families. It was a busy day at Lemo's but Harbor SLS did a proper takeover and had so much fun taking advantage of the multitude of activities. We rode the train and the hayride, got properly spooked in the haunted house, picked out cute pumpkins, ate yummy treats and some, like Chris Severns, even made the best of friends with the Lemo's farm goats!
"Lemos was a lot of fun, it is a new tradition that Harbor has been doing the past 2 years. It is a really cool activity for us to all get together and have some fun. Lemos is a cool place that has a lot to offer for the whole family between the goats, the pumpkins, the haunted house, the train and hay rides, pony rides etc and I am looking forward to continuing this tradition in the future" - Jonathan Smith

HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT - Costume contest & Hocus Pocus

Written by Shanie Lane, HSLS Facilitator

Iron Man, Fairies, and Chuckies! Oh my! What an experience this year's Halloween event brought. We had activities setup for everyone to partake in including puppet making with Kathy, planting poppies with Danny to be displayed at the office, corn hole, and a friendly game of pin the nose on the pumpkin. Of course, there is no Harbor event without tasty goodies to snack on! As people enjoyed themselves during the activities and mingling with their friends, they ate a wonderful spread of food prepared by Abbey and Daniela. There was even a pumpkin with dip exploding from its mouth- pretty spooky! We held a costume contest, and though everyone looked amazing, votes were cast to crown our top 3 winners. Claire, Brando, and Calico won first place with their homage to Chucky and Bride of Chucky. Second place went to Ryleigh with her take on the All American Cowgirl, and Charlotte came in third place with her version of Queen Cleopatra. When darkness came over the office, the purple and orange lights began to shine and it was time to start our movie night. This year we played Hocus Pocus 2 outside of our office. Everyone bundled up in their blankets and got comfortable in their chairs. What a spellbinding experience it was! There is always a magical feeling that comes with Harbor events and having everyone together.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Birthdays

Clay McRoberts - 11/4
Anjali Maziarz - 11/13
Rebecca Klose - 11/14
Decota Copeland - 11/15
Molly O'Brien - 11/25
Aubrey Sonnenschein - 11/27
Dean Morozowski - 11/27

Harborversaries

Aubrey Sonnenschein - 1 year
Claire Denevan - 2 years
Dean Morozowski - 11 years


FOLLOW OUR CALENDAR

We have a calendar on our website with current event details. Save it to your bookmarks & reference throughout the month!


SEND US YOUR PHOTOS!

We would love to feature your photos in our upcoming newsletters. Please send any photos via e-mail to newsletter@harborsls.org


89 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page