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Person to Person Project

The Person to Person Project dates back to Club year 1974-1975 when Jan Hemphill was President of the Altrusa Club of Dallas. This was a project born of need and met with compassion when a request for help came to the club and there was no project to cover the request. The request came from Marjorie Hall, a member of the Altrusa Club of Mesquite, on behalf of Cora Case, a patient of the doctor Marjorie worked for. Ms Case was a diabetic, recovering from open heart surgery. She was unable to work, had an open chest wound, and had been robbed. The club provided her with food, clothes, and got her moved into a Dallas Housing Project near Baylor Hospital, where the rent was affordable to her and where she could have some protection. We had locks put on her doors, bought her a window cooler, collected furniture for her and had a phone installed. We continued to follow her for several years, meeting other needs from time to time. Ms Case died around 1981. The project was handled thusly:
  • The need was investigated and presented to the Board of Directors.
  • The Board voted to meet the need and cash funds were taken from Ways & Means.
  • Donations of food and clothing were made by individual members.
The President named this the Person to Person Project. The feeling of the Board was that the Dallas club could run a project for individual needs that would not qualify for FFVA. They further thought it advisable not to set up criteria for this project but to let each need speed for itself. From 1974-1975 Marguerite Ray served as Chairman for the Person to Person Project. Cora Case was our main recipient but we did spend $150 on dental work for Cecelia May so that she would be presentable to go to work. This was a lady whose husband had left her with 3 children. The Finance Committee has seen fit to budget anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per year for this project, depending on conditions and availability of money. This money comes from our Ways and Means projects. Money budgeted can be spent by the chairman, since it is not designated, if this is appropriate and necessary. Historically the needs have either been presented to the Board of Directors or the membership has been polled individually to get their approval before the money is given. This project is “altruism” at its best. So far we have never had to seek for projects, they come to us. The chairman is appointed each year by the President when she is making other committee chairman assignments. This procedure is set out in the Club By-Laws.

Club Year 1976 – 1977

In Club year 1976-1977 the Person to Person Project was co-chaired by Jane MacWilliams and Marguerite Ray. The project that year consisted of:
  • Additional dental work for Cecelia May – $245
  • Maureen Topley, a 16 year old with a two-month old infant – $75 for tuition, laboratory fee and tools for an upholstery course at North Dallas Highschool to enable her to support her family
  • Anne Ritchie – $27.23 for purchase of a toaster oven. She was handicapped, in renal failure, and needed to be able to cook for herself.
  • Dessie Marie Oliver – $100 for tuition and books for A.D. Nursing Course, El Centro.
  • Mrs Joyce Morgan – $144.70 for purchase and installation of an evaporation cooler needed by her 12 year old son, a baldy burned victim.
  • Tein Lam, a Vietnamese nursing student, $200 for tuition at El Centro College.
Grants for the 1976-1977 club year totaled $791. In addition to this, household and kitchen items were donated by individual Altrusans for Ann Rosenberg, an allergy patient who required a sterile environment just to exist.

Club Years 1977 – 1983

Detailed records for club projects from 1977 to June 1983 are not currently available. However we do know that in Club year 1978-1979 when Erie Darnall was Chairman, the club bought carpeting, a door, and locks for an elderly lady in Oak Cliff. In that same Club year Smita Vaidya, an East Indian completing her PhD and working at the Medical School needed $500 desperately until her change of Visa could be made and she could actively be employed. The Person to Person Project made a loan that was later repaid. Today, Smita is married, has a little boy, and is Director of the Renal Transplant Laboratory at the U.T.H.S.C. at Galveston. She is good Altrusan material and we are proud of helping her up her ladder to success.

Club Year 1983 – 1984

In Club year 1983-1984 Doris Eaton was Chairman of the project and that year the project picked up $256.83 of the Medicare deductible to Mary Shields Hospital for eye surgery done for Mrs Margaret Edmondson, a lady with a pacemaker. The surgery was done by Dr. Tom McCrory. Mrs Edmondson had been blind for several years because of cataracts, was keeping 3 grandchildren, and lived in Rhoads Terrance of South Dallas. She was eternally grateful to Dr. McCrory and our club for the blessing of sight again.

Club Year 1984 – 1985

In Club year 1984-1985 Marguerite Ray was again chairman. In September 1984 Parkland Memorial Hospital called on us for help with a lady who came from Baltimore with her son thinking she had a job awaiting her, but not so. The club paid $275 toward her rent, and members donated another $130 to cover this emergency. In March 1985 Parkland Memorial Hospital again called for help in getting a wheel chair for a Mexican/American man of 55 years, who suffered one sided paralysis because of a stroke 2 years previous. The club met this need with $337 for a wheel chair, making a total of $742 spent on grants for the year.

Club Year 1985-1986

For club year 1985-1986 $160 was given to Janice Bigger, an ex-resident of Family Place to make up the balance of one months rent for August. Beginning September 1 she qualified for Section 8 housing. $200 was sent to Betty Andrews, age 32, a secretary for S.W. Life Insurance Company, whose husband left her and a 10 year old child suddenly – she was totally unprepared. This will make the payment on her small house for one month. Her church is picking up her past due utilities, and she will be able to manage in the future.

Club Year 1987-1988

Club year 1987-1988 awarded $100 to Dwayne Bonney for eye glasses. His original pair were destroyed in a fire that also destroyed the family trailer. Dwayne had previously been a recipient of glasses from The Lions Club and was ineligible for another pair from that organizaiton. Ezette Hines, an 18 year old, received $300 towards rent for herself and her 2 year old girl. At the time she was pregnant with her second child. The club helped Ezette complete applications for AFDC and Section Eight Housing. Ezette was working towards completing her GED in June of 1989.