Baskets for Seniors: Shary Clancy (left) and her friend, Donna Narvaez, help pack baskets together to give to seniors in the community. Shary says that she could not be doing this without the help of Donna.
A local “angel,” Shary Clancy, is a longtime Agoura Hills resident who has taken it upon herself to gather items for needy people in our community.
She has named one group “Lavender Bows” for the homeless. Others are “Holiday Helper” and “Secret Santa” for struggling families. She is gathering collections for “Village Seniors,” as well. Any person can join her groups and help out in the area that best fits them. Those who donate or offer kind words, she calls her “Band of Angels.”
Despite the pandemic, more and more people have been helping, Shary says. She doesn’t take money—only grocery gift cards or items can be donated. About 200-300 emails come to her every day from people saying kind words to her or offering to help.
One man donated 2,000 face masks to hand out to the homeless on skid row. Another donor provided 100 toys to distribute, some being brought to the needy in Los Angeles. Others have donated tents for the homeless. The gifts just keep coming, many sent directly from donors through Amazon.
Shary hands out lavender bows, which people can place on their mailbox to show others that they care. Anyone can pick them up at her house and display them at their own home. As of this writing, 83 people have joined her Lavender Bows group.
Shary goes out in our community and into the San Fernando Valley to hand out packs of items to help the homeless. She also takes time to talk with the people she meets in the encampments. She shared the story of a man who told her he was “ugly and hopeless.” She proceeded to tell him that he was wrong about himself. He asked her, “Really?” and then began to bare his soul to Shary when they exchanged a meaningful moment in time together.
She and her helpers put together 24 baskets to distribute to seniors, along with decorative rocks that people painted for them. She wants everyone to know that they are important and, above all, that they are seen and acknowledged by others.
I asked Shary where she draws her strength in these times. She said, “From my dad and my angels in heaven.” She recalls that as a kid, instead of getting birthday presents and money, she asked for donations for the March of Dimes, as she wanted others to receive gifts also.
Shary recently posted on Nextdoor about a new group called “Prayers for our Villagers.” This group, she says, is meant to “be kept pure, honest, and filled with love, compassion, and comfort for anyone in our village.” One of her favorite quotes is “Count your blessings—then share one.”
That is something we all can do by joining her in spreading the love in our community.