“We staged the drive for Global Links in honor of Bea Caruso,” wrote Adrienne Walnoha, CEO of Community Human Services (CHS). “Bea had been at CHS for 38 years and gave ‘birth’ to our health programs. She grew up in a small town and became a nurse because she had three choices: nurse, teacher or secretary. She devoted her entire life to community based nursing and taking care of people in their homes and communities. We thought a drive for Global Links was a perfect way to celebrate her commitment to health and grassroots community support.”
CHS was begun in 1970 by a small group of South Oakland neighbors who banded together to stabilize the community they loved and provide resources for those in need. From a storefront drop-in center that gave residents a chance to get to know each other, to the much larger organization it is today, CHS has stayed true to its purpose of extending care to places where people live and work, rather than operating from one central location. “Such a system,” according to their website, “integrates people and helps reestablish community while assisting persons at risk.”
At Bea Caruso’s party, staff, friends, and neighbors brought in donations for Global Links New Baby bags, items carefully chosen by our partners overseas for what would be appropriate in their communities. The bags are given to new and expectant mothers to encourage prenatal care and attended deliveries – to help medical staff catch any potential problems early in the pregnancy and hopefully head off medical emergencies.
We are so pleased that this unique organization chose to honor their friend in this way – by reaching out to improve maternal/infant health in a community far from their own.