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News for 05.15.16
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What do you do for fun when you’re raising two school aged kids in a Tenderloin SRO (single room occupancy) hotel? You go to Bingo Night at City Hope Community Center of course! We first met (I’ll call her) Naomi at a Bingo Night as she was walking home with her daughters and happened by City Hope. Tyrone invited her in that night and they’ve been coming to almost every event we host ever since. We’ve gotten to know Naomi, who is warm and always has a smile, and her daughters who are charming and who aren’t afraid to ask when we’ll get chess pieces for our game nights.

As we prepared for our most recent Bingo Night I created two prize bags that I set aside in case the girls won a round. Using gift cards that were donated to City Hope at Christmas Time, I created prize bags with a Toys R Us gift card, a pass to the Academy of Science, a sparkly gel pen, and some candy. So when the girls wanted to help by calling numbers I could only think that they’re lowering their odds of winning the special prizes, but during that round Naomi won and I gave her one of the prize bags I made for the kids. Then unexpectedly, when we were doing our final round, which had a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to Brenda’s French Soul Food restaurant, one of Naomi’s girls won that round. Given that there aren’t a lot of kid-friendly experiences in the Tenderloin, it was fun to celebrate this win with them.