November & December 2018 Newsletter
The recent trend of assisting Brits in the Los Angeles area continues. We helped repatriate Mark, a Brit who was homeless and living on the streets in L.A. Mark had traveled from Oregon and connected with an old primary schoolmate, Richard. Richard tracked down Mark’s family in the UK, and they agreed to help Mark seek the medical treatment he would need once he was back home in the UK.
This is where the BBS entered the story. Richard found the BBS on the internet. After learning more about Mark’s circumstances, the Relief Committee agreed to pay for Mark’s flight home. Once Mark was safely on the plane, with deep gratitude, Richard again reached out to the BBS. He said that without this gesture of kindness and compassion, his friend Mark would’ve likely died homeless and destitute on the streets.
We also received a request for assistance from a single father, John, who has two boys with special needs. John, recently lost his job at a factory in the L.A. area, was frantically searching for new employment, but was deeply concerned that he would not be able to pay December rent. Failure to pay his rent would surely result in loss of custody of his children. The Relief Committee compassionately agreed to provide John with 2 months rent. John has since contacted the BBS to let us know that he has two job prospects. Additionally, he let us know that without the help of the BBS he doesn’t believe he would have been able to manage the stress of potentially losing his children and becoming homeless once again.
Lastly, we recently learned of a young Brit who was involved in a very serious car accident in Oregon while on holiday in the US. The other driver was at fault, and sadly died. The young Brit had to be taken to a Level 1 Trauma Center where she received treatment for a stroke and several broken bones. The BBS provided assistance by covering some of the hotel costs for her parents who had flown from the UK to be with her.
We continue to keep in our thoughts, all of those impacted by the devastating California fires. Please contact us if you learn of any Brits, living anywhere throughout California, that were displaced following this disaster. There is always the possibility that we can provide assistance.
Annual Christmas Dinner
Thank you to all who joined us to kick off the holiday season at our Christmas dinner. We set a record this year by selling out tickets to the dinner and raising over $1,300 in raffle ticket sales! A special thank you to all of our guests for purchasing tickets. All of the proceeds directly support relief efforts.
Thank you to to those who generously donated prizes for the raffle. Special thanks to West Coast Wine and Cheese for giving us a smashing deal on the wine that flowed throughout the evening. We will be sure to connect with you in years to come!
Sponsors and donors:
Thank you to the following individual and business members for their donations:
Kathleen & Kozo Kimura
Karen & Phil Thomas
Paul & Jo Southern
Susie & Alan Gregory
Claire Knoles from Kiosk
Charles & Emma Cockerton from Florin Pensions
And thank you to HM Consul General Andrew Whittaker and Alex Whittaker for their donation of Tea for 6 at their official residence!
The evening was made even more special by the amazing a capella performance from Pitch Please! Board member Lucy Feltham, also a member of Pitch Please, casually volunteered the group to perform for us that evening. They did not disappoint! We cannot wait to hear them again soon.
Last month we recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI at the Remembrance Day Service at Grace Cathedral. The Royal British Legion once again organized this moving event honoring all of the men and women who have served and lost their lives in armed conflict.
The Jackson-Lembi Donation
We are very honored to share with you that we received a sizable donation from the trust of former member Dilys Jackson-Lembi. We are incredibly grateful for all donations we receive, but it is always special and touching when members and friends of the BBS keep us in their thoughts as they reach their end of life. Thank you to anyone who has considered adding the BBS as a beneficiary to your will or trust. Donations of this kind not only honor the legacy of a member of the British Benevolent Society but also directly impact our ability to continue to provide assistance to those most in need and on the fringe. A sincere thank you to Dilys Jackson-Lembi and family for their enduring support, commitment and belief in the BBS mission.