Bayview residents present the donation check to residents of Mary’s Place. Photo courtesy of Bayview Retirement Community.
Bayview residents present the donation check to residents of Mary’s Place. Photo courtesy of Bayview Retirement Community.

Nine residents and two staff members of Bayview Retirement Community (11 W. Aloha St.) took a field trip to Mary’s Place day shelter on Jan. 25 to deliver a check for $4,525, the final total raised at our holiday bazaar in December. 

We were given a very warm welcome by staff and “guests” (as they are appropriately called) there, as well as a tour of all the life that takes place in two large rooms primarily, a small kitchen, a nurse’s office and some tightly packed administrative offices in the basement of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, north of downtown. 

Even those of us who were familiar with the operation of Mary’s Place came away impressed by the breadth of services offered, the way guests are invited to pitch in as volunteers and interns to better their own lives and the sheer number of people Mary’s Place helps. 

(Mary’s Place has an additional day center and donation drop in a Belltown storefront, as well as an overnight shelter in Shoreline and many other “irons in the fire” to expand services around Seattle.)

We were inspired by the hope and the spirit we experienced there. We are working on a plan to further deepen our relationships with the people of Mary’s Place via a monthly get-together here at Bayview, and we were encouraged to send a few of our knitters to the Shoreline shelter to help teach their craft at the request of guests there. 

Whatever we do, the exchange will be a mutual one: We will ask others to teach us about their lives and learnings, as well as offering to them the gifts we have to give. Exciting and meaningful possibilities await all who choose to join in. Stay tuned.

JAN ANDERSON is director of pastoral care at Bayview Retirement Community (www.bayviewmanor.org).