We’re always looking to catch up with alumni, and when that connection is reestablished we hear some wonderful stories. Here are a few we’d like to share…
Saint Vincent’s Day Home Saved My Life
In this video, former student Matthew DePalm tells us how important Saint Vincent’s Day Home was to his childhood and how the staff saved his life. Today, Matt’s come back to the Day Home and wants to give back to a place that’s deeply rooted in his childhood.
In November 2007, Congresswoman Barbara Lee held a press conference at the Day Home along with representatives from CalPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group), releasing their annual report on toy safety. Congresswoman Lee briefly attended Saint Vincent’s as a child, and shared some memories with us as she toured the facility.
A Fireman Finds His Way Back
A few weeks later, firemen from our local station brought two engines to the Day Home. Every child was lifted up the steep stairs and guided through the smaller fire engine that came into our playground. One of the firemen, Arash Kouhi, walked into our Dining Room and cried out, “I came here; I remember this room!’ Arash knew that he had come to child care in West Oakland, but was not able to find the location until that day!
More Stories from the Day Home
When asked how he knew the Day Home, Steve Guasco replied, “I’m the kid who taught Ronald Reagan how to play the drum.’” This was during the time that Mr. Reagan was a movie star and had come to the Alameda Naval Base for a United Way event where our Kinderband performed.
Darryl Sudduth reports, “I was first introduced to the school in 1955, when my mother brought me there on my first day of school. I didn’t really know why I was being dropped off there, but I knew for a fact that I wasn’t going to like it.” After a rough start, including an incident where he punched another child in the nose, Darryl says he eventually got used to the environment and started to actually look forward to going to school. He adds, “…I never forgot how important the early guidance I received helped to shape the person I grew to be.”
These are just a few of the friends who have stayed in touch or reconnected with the Day Home, and we are grateful to them for remembering us and helping us continue our work. If you have a memory to share, or would like to visit the Day Home to make a memory, contact us. We would love to hear from you. You can call us at (510) 832-8324.