Nueva Vista Sacramento Embraces Community Service at Thanksgiving
December 6, 2018 - Psynergy Programs’ Sacramento facility reaches out to the surrounding community of South Oak Park.
Residents and staff at the Nueva Vista Sacramento (NVS) campus celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday by making 150 “Blessing Bags” for under-served and homeless residents of the surrounding community of South Oak Park.
Nueva Vista Sacramento is Psynergy Programs’ newest board and care facility for mentally challenged adults in California. The bags contained water, four healthy snacks, a Thanksgiving “blessing” card created by Program Director Shanna Thompson and a Sacramento County homeless outreach resource card prepared in collaboration with the Sacramento County DA advocate’s office.
Thompson and her staff delivered the bags to several local organizations that were planning to serve hot meals and conduct targeted outreach activities for the area’s homeless population at Thanksgiving. They include the Wellspring Women’s Center, St. Matthew Christian Church of Sacramento, GASBOL (God’s Angel Shoe Box of Love food pantry), Black Mothers United and the Pleasant Hill Christian Praise Center.
“I wanted to increase awareness and rapport with the South Oak Park community, and let them know that Nueva Vista Sacramento is very much a part of the community and is willing to give back in any way we can,” says Thompson.
Creation of the bags was a festive and fun Thanksgiving activity for Psynergy’s Sacramento residents and employees, but it also dovetailed with Thompson’s overarching philosophy for the NVS facility: “Enriching lives where kindness thrives.” This ongoing four-point initiative includes the following tenets:
• volunteering in the immediate community of South Oak Park to help those who are under-served;
• keeping it clean, which involves picking up trash on surrounding streets and cleaning neighboring parks and rivers;
• random acts of kindness, which includes practicing gratitude within the house through journaling, meeting in groups and finding ways for residents to give back;
• enriching lives, which creates opportunities for Psynergy staff and residents to find opportunities to work together and create meaningful relationships at home and through community service.
Thompson says the idea is to help the community directly by keeping streets, parks and rivers clean and by scheduling town hall meetings to discuss what the South Oak Park area needs.
About 15 of NVS’s clients participated in manufacturing and assembling the bags, which were funded by the campus’s recycling money.
“Our clients vote every month on how we will use our recycling dollars to help the neighborhood, which accrue from turning in cans and plastics. We typically have around $100 to spend each month,” says Thompson.
Nueva Vista Sacramento plans more events in December including providing toys to local non-profits and coordinating clients to assist in serving hot meals with various community partners.
“We look forward to an ongoing collaboration with other organizations in our neighborhood,” says Thompson.