Shriver for Supervisor
Re: “For this job, it’s all about the résumé,” news, Oct. 2
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is antiquated and out of touch. Bobby Shriver will bring fresh, intelligent energy to county government. His compassion, integrity and positive outlook on life will serve every constituent well.
The contrast between Shriver’s receptiveness to people and the dismissiveness I experienced from his opponent, Sheila Kuehl, is striking. In 2005 the California Assembly approved a bill that authorized a one-year pilot off-leash dog zone at Dockweiler State Beach. The members of my advocacy group, Freeplay, were elated. We and others had worked for more than 10 years collecting thousands of signatures on a petition supporting legislation like this.

The bill then went to Kuehl’s Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water. There, it died. Kuehl informed us that because she didn’t have a dog beach in her backyard, we didn’t need one either.
We realize there are two sides to the dog-beach issue. People have a right to disagree. But Kuehl’s sheer arrogance and the flippant way she dismissed a decade of work by hundreds of her constituents absolutely floored us!
Bobby Shriver could not be further from that kind of Sacramento politician. He comes out of local government in Santa Monica. He listens to what people want for their communities. He is the future of Los Angeles. We need him to be our next supervisor.
Daryl Barnett
Cofounder, Freeplay

‘You get more than you give’
Re: Volunteering 101
I used to hear dedicated volunteers say that they usually got more than they gave when volunteering, but I was skeptical. Then I began volunteering for Westchester Playa Village, and now I know they were telling the truth.
Two years ago an article about Westchester Playa Village caught my eye. The group supports local seniors trying to stay in their homes by providing transportation, companionship and other services. I was searching for just those things for my wonderful 90-year-old mom who lived back East and was trying to remain independent.

I had been visiting her as often as I could and would drive her to appointments and around town. We had our favorite daily rituals — working the crossword puzzle together every morning and playing two games of Rummikub every night before bed. But I felt bad when I had to leave. When I read the article a light went on, and I realized that even if I couldn’t be there for my own mom each week I could be there for someone else’s.
I called to volunteer as a driver. The driving schedules were flexible, and I could choose what I wanted to do each week. If I was very busy I’d tell the office that I wasn’t available, or that I could only drive one way of a trip. In addition to driving I did small sewing jobs, wrote articles, made baked goods and arranged centerpieces for social events — all things I love to do.

I’ve met the most delightful and appreciative people: retired art teachers and doctors, homemakers and businessmen and women. They all have amazing stories to tell — some fascinating or funny, and some that could break your heart. And then, six months ago, I met Linda.
Linda is a great grandmother, painter, baker, gardener and flower arranger extraordinaire. She joined Westchester Playa Village to see if she could use their services and give up driving. I started taking her grocery shopping on Tuesdays, and a bond quickly formed when we realized how many interests we had in common. Tuesdays are now more than a one-hour trip to Ralph’s and back. After we put the groceries away, I set the table while Linda makes lunch. We chat and share recipes at the kitchen table, and then the Rummikub game comes out. It turns out that’s another thing we have in common.
My mom died a year and a half ago and I miss her very much, but I’ve found a delightful new Rummikub partner and friend in Linda. I remember those wise folks who said, “When you volunteer you usually get more than you give,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Martha Horn