by Elizabeth Corbett, Programs & Membership Coordinator
I’m writing this column on Tuesday, so greetings from chilly Lenoir City. But enough about the weather, let’s get on to the business of programs and membership!
I want to give you an update from Sí, the Share the Plate partner from late last year. Sí (Serving Immigrants) works to match immigrants who are seeking asylum with immigration attorneys and mental health clinicians. Immigrants who have a mental health assessment experience much more success in winning their asylum cases. Sí is a 100% volunteer-run and -funded organization, so all donations go to meet a variety of immediate needs, sometimes postage for an individual needing to mail off asylum documents, sometimes emergency medical aid for clients in distress. The bulk of the donation from Westside will pay for Sí’s domain name for the website, which will have a searchable database of immigrant-friendly resources for both individuals and organizations to use. I’ve witnessed the progress of the website, and it’ll debut in the next few months! I’ll be sure to pass along the link once it’s ready, and you can see what Sí is doing (and how you might further volunteer).
And another update: Samantha Monday came at the end of February and picked up the huge pile of clothes that we gathered for the first two months. Samantha, who is a substance abuse case manager with the Knox County Sheriff's Department, uses the donations to support people who have gotten sober in jail after they exit the jail system and move into transitional housing. Another way to help her program in an on-going way is to donate to KARM. When you donate to KARM and indicate that you want Westside to be credited with the donation, we receive 'points' in the Corners of Your Field program. Westside then receives KARM gift cards which Reverend Carol then passes along to Samantha to give to people in need.
Finally, Reverend Carol and I will be visiting The Bottom (our current Share the Plate partner) next week. As Westside looks to expand the definitions of how we do Share the Plate, Carol and I will be interested in learning how Westside can have a deeper and longer lasting relationship with this organization. One event coming up at The Bottom is a Book and Art Swap on Saturday, March 25. You can bring your gently used books and artwork and maybe find a new treasure to grace your bookshelf or that lonely corner in your bathroom! I plan to attend (it runs from 12-5 in the afternoon). Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to come along or with any other suggestions! And Happy Spring to everyone.