Lending a Hand

Lending a Hand

Did you know there are currently 11,000 survivors of politically motivated torture living right here in San Diego?  This is a frightening but real statistic that is being compassionately addressed by a local non-profit organization called Survivors of Torture International (SURVIVORS).  Since 1997, this amazing organization has been helping survivors and their families recover from their traumas through a holistic program that includes mental health, psychiatric and social services, as well as medical case management.  SURVIVORS empowers these vulnerable individuals to reclaim the strength and vitality that were stolen from them by brutal dictators and governments and allows them to become self-sufficient and healthy members of our community.  In addition, SURVIVORS educates professionals and the public about the plight of torture survivors and their families, and advocates for the abolition of torture throughout the world.

Every year, SURVIVORS holds a fundraising luncheon, called Helping Survivors Heal, to raise money to continue its mission.  This year, more than 400 people attended, and the Coronado Democratic club was well represented at a table for 10, organized by Susan Enowitz.  The luncheon was held on September 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel Hazard Center.  Those who attended enjoyed a delicious lunch and were inspired by how SURVIVORS is creating a safe haven for torture survivors and helping them rebuild their lives.  Most memorably, we heard inspiring and heartrending stories of resilience from some of the survivors themselves.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  All of the money donated at the luncheon will go directly to SURVIVORS’ programs and its clients.

To learn more about SURVIVORS, visit the website at www.notorture.org.

Lending a Hand

Lending a Hand

The Coronado Democratic Club’s collection of toiletries for Survivors of Torture, International was a big success. Thanks to the generosity of club members, we donated enough toiletries to fill two car trunks and more than $250 in cash. Survivors is very grateful for these much-needed supplies.

Our next program will help refugees by delivering items to Jewish Family Service’s refugee resettlement program. JFS is one of nine national refugee agencies that works with the U. S. Department of State, and since 2005, has resettled approximately 3800 refugees in the San Diego area. The program works with refugees of all religions.

Please bring the following donations to the Mandelbaum home 544 Glorietta Blvd. or to the next Democratic Club meeting on May 17 in the Winn Room. For large items or questions, contact Jean Seager 619 435-8130 or jhseager@gmail.com. You can access more information about JFS by visiting their website at jfssd.org

• Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, men’s and women’s razors, hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, feminine hygiene products, lotion, and Q-tips and especially toilet paper.

• Baby items – diapers, baby clothing, bibs.

• Cleaning supplies – dish soap, bathroom/kitchen cleaner, sponges, cleaning rags, paper towels, laundry detergent, wastebaskets, mops, brooms, buckets, trash bags, trash cans.

• Furnishings – kitchen/dining table with chairs, pots/pans, dishes, utensils.

• Gift cards – preferably Walmart or Visa in any amount to be given directly to the refugees.

There are now more displaced persons in the world than at any time in history, including the era immediately after World War II. In the midst of the crisis, President Trump denigrates refugees and threatens to refuse them entry our country. These people have endured incredible hardship and have waited an average of 18 to 24 months for permission to come to America. Let’s welcome them by lending a hand and donating supplies that will make their lives easier. Thank you. 

Lending a Hand

Lending a Hand

soti-header-3bWe all know that there are many groups in our country that the Trump administration has marginalized with its rhetoric and/or its policies. In response, the club has decided to contact organizations that support these groups and find out how we can help. We will select one organization every few months and join together to donate needed items.

The first organization we have identified is Survivors of Torture, International, a nonprofit organization located in Old Town, San Diego. Did you know that 44% of all refugees are survivors of torture, most often political torture? Or that San Diego is home to 35,000 refugees? For the past 20 years, Survivors has been caring for many of these individuals, providing professional care through a holistic program including mental health, psychiatry, social services, and medical case management.

In recent years, Survivors experienced a 55% increase in clients to their offices in Old Town. In 2016 alone, they served 1,900 clients from 80 countries.  Survivors received the Better Business Bureau’s GuideStar Platinum recognition for excellence in stewardship of donor dollars.

We can lend a hand to this worthy organization by donating hygiene items for men, women, and children These can be large or small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, and body lotion, as well as feminine hygiene pads, combs, brushes, bars of soap, and nail clippers or other tools for nail care. Survivors will also accept financial donations, which they will use to purchase the items for you.

Please bring your donation of hygiene products or check, payable to Survivors of Torture, International, to Ron Mandlebaum’s home, 544 Glorietta Blvd. Or, bring them to the luncheon meeting on March 25. A club member will deliver them to Survivors. If you want an acknowledgement or a tax receipt, include an email address with your donation.

Let’s help this safe haven rebuild the lives of survivors of torture!

Do you know another organization for lending a hand? We ask club members to find worthy organizations and bring them to the attention of the club president. This is a meaningful way to take action against the Trump agenda and to demonstrate our values of generosity and compassion.