2013 Hero Story 1: Lily Tenes
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2013 Hero Story 1 – Lily Tenes: The following story was submitted by community member Darlene Tenes.
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According to Darlene:
Mrs. Tenes has shown dedication and selflessness serving the community in many ways. She was one of the founders of PACT (People Acting in Community Together) when it was originally called the EDOP-Eastside Downtown Organizing Project over 25 years ago and is still active in the organization serving as a board member and grass roots activist. She has worked on various PACT projects starting with getting a streetlight installed on Alum Rock Avenue where hundreds of children cross to get to school. Since then accomplishments have included getting Homework Centers in schools across the city and working for 12 years to get the Alum Rock Youth Center built on the east side, and working on the Children’s Health Care Initiative which eventually became Healthy Families. ( Note PACT is a grassroots community organization that seeks to improve the health, education, safety, and general well-being of people in San Jose, working primarily in the city’s low and middle-income communities. )
For 17 years she dedicated herself as a full-time as a Regional Director for Rainbows, a group support program for children going through death, divorce and separation from a loved one. She has handled many different situations such as dealing with the children of parents who have committed a murder suicide or others who were taken from their drug addicted parent and placed in foster care and then sent to Rainbows to transition to their new family environments.
She was among the first nationally to involve parents knowing they too are suffering and need help. She is a terrific, incredibly empathetic person who envisions what needs to be done. All the hours of training, facilitating, fundraising, and administrative work are done on a purely volunteer basis. She does not receive any income or stipend whatsoever but believes in her work and the difference it makes in peoples lives.
JUVENILE DETENTION MINISTRY
For the past 6 years Lily has volunteered her time to providing comforting words, guidance and prayer to youth in the lock-down units for violent offenders at Juvenile Hall. When others want to “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” she knows that through faith, hope and love that they can change. Through her faith she assures them that they are worthy and capable of living a different life and becoming productive adults and loving parents.