We had a good meeting with ~50 attendees. Our two speakers each had important information for us.
First, Mary Wilson, Adoptee Reunification Expert, spoke about her volunteer work over the last 20 years in reuniting adults who were adopted as infants/children with their biological parents (when all parties agree). She told some amazing stories of serendipity such as two Facebook friends who had never met but who turned out to be biological sisters, etc. One comment I heard after the meeting is "Mary's talk was so touching, it made tears flood my eyes." Mary can be contacted at email@example.com
Then Mark Joeckel, community activist, Founder of Arlington Proud, and local television talk show host, spoke about the importance of walkability in quality-of- life of cities, and how the walkability score can be seen for Arlington at this link www.walkscore.com/TX/Arlington (score of 37). Mark encouraged each Ambassadors member to let our City Council representatives that good sidewalks are important to us, as well as a public park within a few blocks of where we live. Mark can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Elva Roy thanked Rebecca Witte of Legend Senior Living for offering to provide refreshments, not only today, for each month for the rest of 2018. Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com Their facility is not open in Mansfield quite yet but the grand opening will happen later this year.
Elva gave an update on two on-going projects that the Ambassadors are working on.
1) Take Me Home project to enable first responders to quickly return a lost, diff-abled, non-verbal, person to their home, hopefully without the necessity of involving Adult Protective Services (example, Alzheimer's disease) or Child Protective Services (example, autistic teenager). Commissioner Andy Nguyen called a meeting of stakeholders who met on February 5 to discuss the project. It was the unanimous decision that such a program is necessary and advisable to cover Tarrant County instead of implementing it on a city-by-city basis. Attendees at the meeting in addition to Commissioner Nguyen and Elva Roy, were Sheriff Bill Waybourn, representatives from Tarrant County's IT Department including a project manager who has been assigned, Arlington and Fort Worth police department representatives, Sixty & Better, Linda Abel from Fort Worth First United Methodist Church who is running a series of Alzheimer's classes, Helping Restore Ability Exec. Director and she brought the mother of an autistic teenager. The County's IT Department decided that the free Take Me Home software made available to any law enforcement agency does not meet Tarrant County standards so another solution will be found, provided funding can be found through grants and possible contributions from local governmental entities. Below is a photo taken at the Feb. 5 meeting.
Other meetings to promote the Ambassadors' interests described by Elva:
Lastly, Elva mentioned that she responded to a plea on Facebook from a mother whose car had broken down, she didn't have $2,000 to get it repaired, and therefore, she had no way to get her 7 year old son to school and back. After watching some people who tried to refer the mother to Uber ($24/day) and Taxis4Kids ($150 month), Elva volunteered to provide a free ride to school and back until the Mom is able to make better arrangements (when she gets her income tax refund). It has turned out to be a very enriching experience for Elva and this precious little boy is just the cutest little guy who is teaching Elva all about Pokemon (how did Elva live for 72 years without knowing about this fascinating subject...which Pokemon characters are powerful, which are weak, what Pikachu can do, etc.). Elva made up a spelling game that she plays in the car with the boy during the commute to/from school. Very fun. Get with a kid if you have a chance. Elva had forgotten how much fun it is to be around a 7 y.o. boy since her three grandchildren are all girls. Brings back fun memories of when Elva's three sons were 7 years old.
See you next month on March 12, 1:00, 700 E. Abram St.
Elva Roy is the Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.