Saturdays at the Travel Inn
Hello, our names are Sara and Jeff, and we are the founders of Saturday's at the Travel Inn.
Back in June of 2016, we started hanging out with these kids. Every Saturday.
Why did we start doing this? It's simple. The children need it--they need mentorship, they need play, they need food, they need supplies, they need love--and they need someone they can count on.
These children are some of the many that come in and out of the Travel Inn located in Vallejo, CA. Acting as a temporary housing solution for low-income and homeless individuals and families in need, the Travel Inn houses around 200 residents, up to 40 of which are children.
Jeff first found out about these youthful residents from Vallejo Together's founder, and our new teammate and friend, Maria Guevara. With her help, plus donations of time, supplies, and services from our Facebook friends, and recent teaming with the local non-profit Eric Reyes Foundation, our program has evolved.
And with that, we need your help--we want it to grow, and most importantly--we need it sustained.
So, what does a day at the Travel Inn look like?
We start the day off with breakfast, catching up, and tons of hugs. After we’ve all gotten our fill of fruit, cereal, or whatever food has been provided that morning, we play. We play mass games of kickball, we all sit down and do arts and crafts together, we’ve decorated pumpkins, made puppets, painted faces, played tag, and just laughed at silly things. At noon, a donated hot lunch is delivered, and by 2pm we wrap up, clean up, and head out. Mixed within this usual scheduling, we talk. The children trust us. They confide in us. It is so incredible to witness these kids—so far from adulthood but already displaying strength and perseverance greater than most, simply because it’s what their circumstances demand.
For nearly six months we have been back to the Inn every Saturday. They need so much more... But, what we give them truly is invaluable. We give the kids consistency.
Our interactions with the children are constantly threatened by the vulnerability of temporary housing. Some of the families we’ve grown to love and cherish have left without warning; often retiring to help centers or their vehicles. Families of three or more, being forced out and into in a late model sedan is a reality that we face every weekend. And something that inspires us to do as much as we can with the time we are given.
It is on this note that we’re now reaching to the public for help. What we need is so vast, and plentiful that almost anyone can help.
We long for in-person volunteers, but if you are unable at this time to be at the Inn in person, we ask for your involvement in any way that you can:
We need donations for food for our program, food to donate the families (that can be prepared mainly on hot plates or in some kitchenettes); we need funding for basic medical, dental, and mental services; we need clothes, shoes, toilettries, and other basic needs.
We need books and joyous games.
They need what your heart desires to give.
If you know of anyone in the area that you think would like to participate with in-person mentorship, play, services, or other volunteering opportunities--please pass this page along!
In the meantime, we welcome monetary donation for food and supplies--and cannot wait to post updates as to where these valuable donations are going directly!!
Every dollar helps. Every loving heart helps.
These kids are so grateful for even a smile.
Words are helpful, but rarely will they accurately convey the entirety of a subject. In this case, it is especially true. There is a void waiting to be filled. Want to help us fill it?
Reach out to Sara or Jeff anytime with any questions about the program or other ways to get involved!
Please sign Vallejo Together's petition:
After the devastating fire which took 16 homes and displaced 40 adults and children, the support pouring in for our beloved Travel Inn children and residents alike is a beauty to witness.
This Saturday we hosted our first (very successful) Meet and Greet at the Travel Inn. We gained seven brand new volunteers; had terrific ideas and forward actions brought to the table; received a personal visit from newly-elected State Assemblyman Tim Grayson offering support, resources, and certificates of recognition; and capped the night at my parent's holiday party, "The Giving Tree" where extended family and friends donated a cumulated $394!!!
Cheers to 2016. 2017--here we come, with building force, action, and love!