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Meet Our Community

Emmy Lu Daly

Emmy Lu Daly, a lively, curious 93-year-old, has been a resident of Sarah’s Circle for 21 years. Born and raised in Stillwater, Minnesota, Emmy Lu headed to Chicago, Illinois to study acting at Goodman Drama School after completing high school. When World War II started, she moved to California to become a riveter on fighter planes built at Lockheed Aircraft, eventually joining the Navy through the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program. When the War ended, she took advantage of the GI Bill and matriculated to the University of Minnesota, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

She then moved to New York, New York and worked as a legal secretary. After an enthralling Easter weekend in Washington, DC, she decided to move to the Capitol City. She joined the Circle Players and the Renata Kuh modern dance group and sang tenor in a major chorus. She married and had two children, Lisanne and Fritz, who are very dear to her.

Her last 10 working years were spent at L’Arche in one of the four Washington DC residences for mentally challenged adults. Her son, Fritz, is a resident in a L’Arche home in Arlington, Virginia. She lived as a staff person in one of the residences for a time but eventually had to leave her room at L’Arche. It was then that a Sarah’s Circle resident recommended she apply for a vacancy at our independent senior living community. It so happened that a unit was available and so she took it. She says that this was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

To this day, Emmy Lu describes herself as an entertainer and to meet her is to know this to be true. After her move to Sarah’s Circle and subsequent retirement from L’Arche, Emmy Lu realized that she wanted one more opportunity to use her singing talent. In 2011, she created a one woman show, “The Golden Miss Em,” and hit the nursing home and retirement village circuit. When she took to the stage, a good time was had by all. Emmy Lu has since retired as “The Golden Miss Em”. Now, Clementine, her ginger cat, politely tolerates her occasional outbursts of song.

Her life to this day remains busy and fulfilling.

After 21 years of living at Sarah’s Circle, Emmy Lu reports that she appreciates her life here more than ever. She has affordable and stable housing and is surrounded by a friendly community where she is known and feels safe. Emmy Lu told us that “I could call on anyone here if I needed help”. Such is the quality of life here at Sarah’s Circle.

Emmy Lu is an active member of her church community, maintains long-time friendships, keeps a close relationship with her two children, and is a dedicated participant in many of the activities offered at Sarah’s Circle. This includes monthly dinners, holiday celebrations, yoga, meditation, exercise, and poetry. As a writer, our poetry class has been particularly enriching and led her to author a book of poems entitled “And Then Again….” published in 2016.  She had the opportunity to read from her book when she and another poetry class member were asked to perform their poetry at the Catalogue of Philanthropy Inspiration to Action event in December 2016. Needless to say, she loved being back on the stage.

As for the future? Emmy Lu  has been a staunch advocate for our building renovation project since its conception. She is excited to move into her beautiful new living quarters when they are completed and will take full advantage of our refurbished wellness center with its robust and varied programming. With the future of affordable housing at Sarah’s Circle secured, and our project about to begin, Emmy Lu is proud to have played some small part in creating a legacy of affordable housing for future low-income seniors like herself.

Raymond Mosley

Editor’s Note: Mr. Raymond Mosley passed away in the fall of 2016. All of us at Sarah’s Circle mourn the loss of this very special resident and hope to continue his legacy by featuring his story for the remainder of 2016.

Once tired of living and feeling as though he was of no use to himself or anyone else, Mr. Mosley’s story is a journey from “needing housing” to “finding purpose and community.”

Born in Manhattan and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Mosley relocated to DC about twenty years ago. He recalls that the news about DC at that time centered on drugs, thugs and corruption. His take was slightly different: He immediately recognized that opportunities existed here that were not available in Detroit and decided to make DC his home. Until his official retirement, Mr. Mosley worked in a variety of capacities at Union Station (and took on odd jobs to earn extra income) and lived happily in a house he shared with several others. Shortly after his retirement, his life took a turn when he learned that his landlords were losing their home, resulting in the displacement of Mr. Mosley and the other tenants. With no affordable alternatives on his fixed retirement income, Mr. Mosley spent the next several years bouncing around a series of halfway houses, rooming houses, and shelters, experiences that only added to his determination to make a better life for himself. He says that during this period of uncertainty, his main goal was to “find a place to hang my hat and keep my personal belongings.”

Mr. Mosley happened to be acquainted with the late Beulah Rivers, a longtime Sarah’s Circle resident and passionate community advocate. She suggested Mr. Mosley research Sarah’s Circle, which she described as independent living for seniors in a caring environment where residents are treated with dignity and given opportunities to increase the quality of their lives. Fourteen months later, he did indeed find that place to “hang his hat” and “keep his personal belongings.”  What he didn’t know at the time was that he would also find himself.

While he was reclusive at first, over time and with encouragement from retired executive director Ruth Sachs and his neighbors, he began to explore what the Sarah’s Circle community had to offer. Mr. Mosley began assisting in the kitchen and maintaining the property and was later asked to serve as resident manager, a position he held for a number of years. As a volunteer within the Sarah’s Circle family, he developed an interest in contributing to the Adams Morgan community as a whole, receiving one of his most notable accomplishments: the Tax Preparation Certificate of Excellence from Jubilee Jobs. In 2013, Mr. Mosley ran for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, a time he remembers fondly and with a smile: “I didn’t win, but a lot of people voted for me!”

What happened next turned out to be the opportunity of his lifetime. Referred by Sarah’s Circle to an employment training program, he excelled in this capacity and was hired to work in the chambers of the Magistrate Judge of the DC Superior Court. After serving the Magistrate for many years – and with a glowing recommendation from his employer – he later applied for and successfully garnered a position with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he continues to work to this day as the office assistant for administration. Mr. Mosley says he feels honored to work with people who are dedicated to advancing civil rights as envisioned by our constitution.

As Mr. Mosley reflects on his life, he attributes much of his transformation from recluse to community member, from homeless to neighbor, to the compassion and care provided by Sarah’s Circle residents and staff. This community accepted him and, in turn, he became a good neighbor and good friend by learning to accept others despite cultural, religious, or racial differences. He also learned that “people will come along if you don’t give up.” He says, because Sarah’s Circle never gave up on him, he never gave up on himself.

Pat Kelly

Patricia Kelly

An army wife married at 17, Patricia Kelly spent the majority of her adult life working full-time and raising three children. First stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and then in Howard County, Maryland, the Kelly family struggled to make ends meet and Pat often worked two jobs while juggling the demands of raising a family. Her husband, Douglas, served a tour in Vietnam and, while he was deployed, Pat was not only mother to their young children; she was also the sole bread-winner in the household.

She began her career assisting her family’s catering business while also serving as a domestic worker. After moving to Howard County – where Pat was born in the 1950s – Pat took a job as a cook in the classified rockets and weaponry division of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Several years later, her mother fell ill and Pat began to care for her as well, often doing double-duty as caregiver to an aging parent and growing children. Pat ultimately spent 25 years of her career in the restaurant and hotel kitchen industry, serving in many ways as a business manager as well. After her children had grown, Pat decided to transition to a career in retail, accepting a job in the catalogue department at Sears and receiving multiple promotions along the way as a result of her work ethic, trustworthiness, and diligence. These are traits that have come to define Patricia Kelly at Sarah’s Circle; always one to lend a hand to her neighbors and friends, she exemplifies the spirit of our community.

Not content to retire after her successful career in retail and banking came to an end, she opted to harness her caregiver’s tendencies into a later-in-life stint as a home healthcare worker. Working for both private clients and in the institutional arena, she eventually retired from The Arc, an organization serving intellectually and physically disabled individuals, in the late 2000s. Characteristic of Pat, she reminds us that she only retired because of an ankle injury and two subsequent surgeries that made it impossible to stand on her feet for hours upon hours each day.

Pat moved to Sarah’s Circle in 2011 and quickly integrated herself into the community. A fixture at virtually every social event, educational seminar, field trip, and activity, Pat’s big smile and welcoming nature makes newcomers feel at ease as they navigate the Sarah’s Circle day program. Pat was one of the first members of our poetry workshop and performed her own work before a live audience on September 26, 2013, the first time she had ever performed in person. To mark the occasion, her daughter and her sister surprised her by driving from Baltimore to DC just to hear her poetry reading.

In Pat’s own words: “My whole outlook on life is different since moving to Sarah’s Circle. I like Sarah’s Circle as it is a great community with great people. Social gatherings and nice program, game days, and yoga. You can really take care of yourself and just ‘be’ here.”

Upcoming Events

May
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Tue
11:30 am Exercise
Exercise
May 23 @ 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
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May 23 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
 
May
24
Wed
10:00 am Book Club
Book Club
May 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
 
11:30 am Exercise
Exercise
May 24 @ 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Work out with certified personal trainer Rodney Jordan!
12:00 pm Lunch
Lunch
May 24 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
 

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