January 2020
Interfaith Shelter Network
Providing temporary shelter & resources to homeless individuals & families* to move toward self-sufficiency
How You Can Help...
Volunteers Needed as Hosts
Volunteers make it all happen . Many thanks to all who have already signed up to help! Hosting the Interfaith Shelter at St. James in the Parish Hall from January 5 th  to 18 th requires countless parish volunteers to set up and tear down the space, greet and welcome, provide dinners, drive guests to the laundromat, chaperone each night and more. 

H osts are needed, daytime and overnight, for the following time slots:
           Sunday, Jan 5:       8:00 am to noon
                                         noon to 6 pm
           Tuesday, Jan 7:      overnight from 6:00 pm to 7:30 am
           Friday, Jan 10:       overnight from 6:00 pm to 7:30 am
           Saturday, Jan 11:   noon to 6:00 pm
                                         overnight from 6:00 pm to 7:30 am
Set-up volunteers needed:
           Saturday, Jan. 4 :     8:00 am - noon

Donated supplies still needed .   We need a few more donated items. If you can help, please put them in a bag marked “interfaith shelter” and leave them in the Social Room at St. James.
            hygiene kits (ziplock bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant,
soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.)
            games for kids (new or gently used, all ages)

If you have questions, or would like to help, contact Barbara Meyers at 818.292.3019 or meyersbg@outlook.com .
* Up to 12 guests; all guests have been pre-screened by case workers and work closely with the social service agency
The following is copied from https://interfaithshelter.org/rotational-shelter-program/ Meet RUTH
Evicted Grandmother Rescued from Car
Imagine… You are 71 years old, on disability and physically challenged, and you and your grandson have been evicted from your home of 13 years. What would you do? Where would you go? Ruth had no idea…

The soft-spoken grandmother still can’t believe it happened. After sleeping in her car for four months, the family was accepted into ISN’s Rotational Shelter Program. “Rents are so high in San Diego, especially for seniors. I just keep looking and I know we’ll find something. I’m just grateful to have a warm place to sleep and three meals a day while we look.”

Housing affordability is a problem for many; 50% of San Diegans can’t find market-rate rental housing they can afford, and 60% cannot afford to buy a home, according to the San Diego Housing Commission. The wait list for affordable housing is eight years or longer, as is the list for the Section 8 housing assistance program.
The elves in Santa’s workshop are busy at work….
How can you help?
DANCING…LAUGHTER…FEASTING…and GIFTS FROM SANTA!  Our Mission Circle Elves are busy preparing the annual Christmas Party celebration for the girls, the Sisters, and the staff at Casa Eudes Girls Home in Tijuana.  If you’d like to help our elves make some special wishes come true, there are many ways to help:

HELP SORT THE GIFTS:   Some sorting elves are needed to help sort the gifts. If you would like to help, please contact Mary Larkin at  marylarkin19@gmail.com or Maggy Hillenbrand at carlmaggy@aol.com .

HELP PREPARE THE MEAL :  The chef elves are busy planning a Christmas Feast! Volunteers are needed to help with the meal preparations on Friday, Jan. 10. To help, contact Jeff Sturgis at jeffsturgis@me.com

TRAVEL WITH US TO THE PARTY :   Santa’s helpers are invited to join us! Families, Individuals…from children to retired seniors…all are welcome! The Christmas Party is a fun event for the girls, staff, and for the volunteers who come along in the church van.  As we arrive, final meal preparations are made, bags of gifts are brought in, the girls perform traditional dances just for us, and a delicious feast is enjoyed by all followed by the big moment that causes great excitement and shrieks….Santa arrives to distribute the gifts! It’s a full, joy-filled day you won’t want to miss!

  • WHEN:                        Saturday, Jan. 11
  • WHERE:                      Casa Eudes Girls Home, Tijuana, Mexico
  • MEET UP:                    8:00 AM St. James Parking Lot
  • WHAT YOU NEED:   To ride in the church van, passports are
required, Global Entry is preferred.
Confirm your space in the van with Kevin O’Connor at shamrockpool@gmail.com.  Reserve early. Space is limited.
  • RETURN:                     6:00 PM approximately

MAKE A DONATION TO PAY FOR THE FOOD AND GIFTS And of course, the accountant elves always appreciate donations toward the purchase of the food and any gifts that have not been donated for the girls. 
  • Donations can be made online at missioncircle.com or mailed to Mission Circle, P.O. Box 1376, Solana Beach, CA 92075.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Head Elves: Mary Larkin at marylarkin19@gmail.com or Maggy Hillenbrand at carlmaggy@aol.com

Help Needed for
Casa Eudes Girls Home
Kitchen Improvements
Installing new exhaust system, refinishing the walls,
and repairing floor tiles
The Casa Eudes kitchen before removing the wall.  
Volunteers Alex Almeida, Jeff Sturgis, Steve Bath, and Walt Birchall after the kitchen wall was removed.
Do you have construction skills or want to learn some?  Mission Circle volunteers have been hard at work bringing the kitchen at Casa Eudes in Tijuana up to local code. A new kitchen exhaust system is required for the safety of the girls and Sisters who live there. A wall has been removed from the kitchen. Now volunteers are needed to help finish the walls, install the new exhaust system, and repair the floor tiles. Volunteers of all skill levels are always welcome!  If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Walt Birchall at mwendasolanabeach@sbcglobal.net or Jeff Sturgis at jeffsturgis@me.com

O ur next workday is Saturday, Jan. 25 Regular workdays are the 2 nd and 4 th Saturdays of each month A valid US passport or passport card is required to cross the border.
With 30+ girls and the Sisters residing at the Girls Home, there is always something that needs to be fixed!  If you would like to join the work team or help with a donation, water heaters and plumbing repairs are the next projects. Donations can be made online at missioncircle.com or mailed to Mission Circle, P.O. Box 1376, Solana Beach, CA 92075.

Read more about the project in the Presidents letter. ..
Holiday Baskets Filled With Hope
Mission Circle Volunteers participate in Community Resource Center’s Holiday Giving Event
Mission Circle was well represented at Community Resource Center's Holiday Baskets on Dec. 14 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Our volunteer team served some of the 850 families in need who visited that day (out of 1,575 total families over the entire weekend) to select food, toys, blankets, jackets, and other gifts to make their Christmas brighter. Linda and David Hagerty, serving at Holiday Baskets for the first time, had the privilege to "shop" with the families for their gifts. "It was a wonderful experience, so filled with generosity and thankfulness," Linda says. Another first-time volunteer at Holiday Baskets, Maureen Finkelstein, worked in the food department. "It was a very touching experience to see the families come by with their big, happy smiles to get the oranges and carrots that we gave to them. They were so grateful to get the food. It was a new and rewarding experience for me and I would be happy to help out again next year." We are so grateful for everyone who participated this year!
Read more about the kitchen project in the
President's Letter...
St. James Mission Circle
P.O. Box 1376, Solana Beach, CA 92075
           www.missioncircle.com 858.792.0516
             January 2020
Want to Make a Difference?
On-going Volunteer Opportunities
Interfaith Shelter Network
Jan. 5-18
St. James-St. Leo Parish Hall
Need volunteer hosts, hygiene kits, games and entertainment for our guests of individuals and families.
Contact: Barbara Meyers at meyersbg@outlook.com or
Deacon Peter Hodsdon at deaconpeter@stjames-stleo.com
Casa Eudes Girls Home
Christmas/Epiphany Party 
Saturday, Jan. 11; 8AM – 6PM (approximately)
Casa Eudes, Tijuana
Join us for a full day of celebration with a Christmas feast; Santa with presents for all the girls, Sisters, & staff; and a traditional dance performance! A valid passport is required, Global Entry preferred. Confirm your space in the van with Kevin O’Connor at shamrockpool@gmail.com .  For more information,
Contact: Mary Larkin, marylarkin19@gmail.com or Maggy Hillenbrand, carlmaggy@aol.com                      
Casa Eudes Girls Home Kitchen Project
Saturday, Jan. 25 (on-going project 2 nd & 4 th Saturdays)
Casa Eudes, Tijuana
Volunteers needed to help finish walls, install a new exhaust system, and repair the floor tiles in the kitchen. A valid US passport or passport card is required at the border. Call to reserve your place in the Mission Circle van!  
Contact:Walt Birchall, mwendasolanabeach@sbcglobal.net
or Jeff Sturgis, jeffsturgis@me.com
Books Needed for Tutoring Program
Gently used or new children’s books, from Dr. Seuss to young adult, needed for the Tutoring Program’s library. Please place books in a bag marked TUTORING and leave in the social room at St. James. Our students and tutors GREATLY appreciate your donations!
Contact: Jim McCollum, jim28351@aol.com
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Donations Needed
Every Week!
It takes a lot of peanut butter and jelly to make 1,000 sandwiches each week to feed the prisoners and homeless in Tijuana. Please leave your jars of creamy PB & any flavor Jelly in the social room under the sink at St. James.    
Contact: Stephanie Kowack,
Travel Size Toiletries
Please save the travel-size toiletries f rom your hotel stays and leave them under the sink in the St. James social
room. The prisoners in the Tijuana jail will greatly appreciate them .
MC General Meeting –  
Monday January 13
7:00 – 8:00 PM 
St. James Church Gathering/Reading Room
Contact:   Kevin O’Connor, pres@missioncircle.com
Mondays & Wednesdays
After-school Tutoring Program: 
T eens to retired adults, needed to assist pre-k to 8 th grade students with homework and reading practice Mondays and Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 pm at St. Leo Mission. Tutoring schedule is flexible to accommodate our volunteers. Come for a visit and tour!
Contact: Jim McCollum, jim28351@aol.com or
Diane Salyer, dcs719@msn.com
Make PB & J Sandwiches for Prisoners & Homeless in Tijuana
10:00 AM – noon (or until all sandwiches are made)
St. Leo kitchen – Come join us! Drop-ins Welcome!
Contact: Stephanie Kowack,stephkowack@yahoo.com
Food Distribution at Encinitas
Community Resource Center (CRC)
New Volunteers always welcome!
2 shifts: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Encinitas Community Resource Center
Contact:   Pierre Godefroy, peteg732@gmail.com
Saturdays (2 nd & 4 th )
Maintenance & Crafts at Casa Eudes Girls Home, Tijuana, Mexico *
7:30 AM – 5:00 PM Come join us!
Meet in St. James Parking Lot to carpool in the church van
Contact: Jeff Sturgis,
*Must carry a valid US Passport Card (not a passport)
Saturdays (1st & 3rd)
Contact: Kathy Faller,
Repurposing with a Purpose” work party!
9 :00 – 11:00 AM Teens, Young Adults, Adults
Need service hours? Volunteers ALWAYS welcome!
Donation Sheds – St. James parking lot
Join us as we organize donations for upcoming building and home furnishing projects.
Look What’s Coming....
Jan. 5-18                          
Interfaith Shelter Network in Parish Hall
Friday, Jan. 10                  
Casa Eudes Christmas/Epiphany Meal Preparations

Saturday, Jan. 11              
Christmas/Epiphany Party at Casa Eudes Girls Home, Tijuana
Saturday, Jan. 25              
Kitchen Project at Casa Eudes Girls Home, Tijuana (on-going)
Happy New Year!