My wife Marilyn and I are proud supporters of FVO Solutions.
Linda's 2003 Cover Photo
My sister Linda Droke was born on November 20, l942 at Letterman Military Hospital in San Francisco. Our mother would later say that it was a difficult birth, and she would speculate that Linda’s mental disability stemmed from birth. It was a difficult time for our country, as we’d just entered WWII. It was an especially difficult time for anyone with “disabilities.” Even our president Franklin Roosevelt camouflaged his disability, as being seen in a wheelchair would have been the sign of a “cripple.” Linda grew up in this era.
With determination and perseverance, Linda went through school, attending special education classes and ultimately earning a high school diploma. However, as a young teen she also developed epilepsy. Through these times, she was diagnosed and misdiagnosed many times. Some medications were prescribed which helped her, and some were prescribed that didn’t. Not surprisingly, she developed behavioral problems that made it difficult for her to socialize and have friends.
From the 1980’s through early 2000’s, Linda worked at FVO Solutions, Inc. (which was then known as Foothill Vocational Opportunities). She began working in a small facility across the street from the beautiful building that is now FVOS. In fact, she was the “cover girl” on their 2003 Annual Report!
I have memories of seeing Linda work on the assembly line. FVOS became a center-point for her life in those adult years. She cherished her paychecks and took great pride in what she accomplished with the direction and guidance of staff. I know that Linda’s life was enhanced by what FVO provided. She received the intangible gifts of respect, guidance, understanding of capabilities, and an opportunity to have work with dignity. With the combination of skilled, caring staff, and her fellow workers, Linda found a social network that worked for her.
Linda's 65th BirthdayWhen she passed away, our sister Dorothy and I were able to use a remaining portion of the money our parents had set aside in trust for Linda’s supplemental care to make a gift to be used for staff training in Linda’s name.
This was Linda’s way to say “thank you” to FVO Solutions for giving extra meaning to her life and our family’s way to express our sincere gratitude and support for an organization that is providing a vital service to those who are underserved and to the community at large.