Tag Archives: Towne Creek Apartments

Wednesday:) When You Have A Little, Share A Little

6 Jun

“Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little often share.”

― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis


In my many decades on this planet, I have found that often the people who have the least are the most generous. A good example is my good friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. They are some of the most generous people I know, and they live on very limited incomes.

The residents spent several hours this morning putting together special hygiene kits for the StreetsideShowers that provides a safe clean place for the homeless take a shower.

The residents, staff, friends and family donated sample size products and cash to purchase the much needed supplies. Lance Oliniski, is going to visit the residents on June 10th to talk to the group and show them the mobile unit.

The residents, led by Christy Sadler, Service Coordinator at Towne Creek, gathered and purchased enough supplies to put together around 100 Hygiene Bags. Christy said, “I originally was thinking that we might be able to put together about 30 bags. But, we have enough for over 100.”

The lovely seniors are planning to do this again in the Fall. So, if you want to start saving up your sample size hygiene products or donate some products or cash, you can contact me, Christy Sadler at Towne Creek, or directly to StreetsidShowers. It’s a good thing.

Volunteer McKinney is proud to recognize those who give back to the community by highlighting them through Humans of Volunteer McKinney.

Meet Lance A. Olinski, Founder of Streetside Showers:

I have always had a heart for people that the world pushes aside, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I realized how lacking some basic needs are in the homeless community.

One day, I saw a man in a public bathroom in McKinney desperately trying to bathe himself in the sink. My heart went out to this man, thus beginning Streetside Showers.

I began our nonprofit organization in June 2017. Our mission is simple. We strive to offer hope and restore dignity through the form of a hot shower and hygiene supplies to those who need it most.

Since the start of Streetside Showers we have been able to provide over 4,200 showers in North Texas. I have spent countless hours serving our homeless community, and nothing beats the smile on their faces when they are finished taking a hot shower. Streetside Showers is honored to provide basic care to those in need on a daily basis!

This quote by Bill Wilson pretty much sums up my life, “The purest form of love in this world is demonstrated by a person who loves somebody who can give absolutely nothing in return.”

Lance A. Olinski

Founder, Streetside Showers

Friday:) Art Friends and Firefighters

6 Apr

“Sharing what you do best with others is the best thing you can do for yourself.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When people tell me that they can’t draw or paint or that they have no artistic talent, I have my standard reply. “You don’t need talent, you just have to have a GREAT teacher. Then of course, I point to myself. But seriously, I’ve been sharing my artistic gifts with kids, adults, family, and friends since forever. I’m not great at any one thing, but I get excited sharing ideas and techniques with people. We usually play, experiments, and wing it, coming up with some pretty cool projects. My favorite thing is when I show someone how to do something and theirs turns out nicer than mine. That happens more often than not.

Today was my Friday art group with my senior friends over at Towne Creek Apartments. I packed up a ton of art supplies and all kinds of food for our dinner feast. I baked a fantastic fruit upside down cake and made one to drop off for my friends over at Fire Station 9, to drop off on my way. (I’ll share that recipe another day-so yummy.)

Firefighter Smith came to the door with a big smile. The cake was still warm, right out of the oven. You can see the plastic lid was a little steamy. (Or was it the cute fireman steaming things up?)

I picked up my friend Helene, who has been joining me and helping at Towne Creek. She made a huge bowl of yummy pasta salad.

It took several trips to carry in all our food and supplies. We never know how many are coming, so we just prepare for an army. I’ve had several friends give me glass vases and things to paint, so that was one of our projects today. And with Easter coming up, we painted some crosses.

We painted, laughed, and told stories, then it was feast time. Miss Nelma led us in a prayer before our meal. The dessert was AMAZING! Fruit Upside down cake with Blue Bell Pecan Pralines and Cream ice cream. (Oh my)

It was a good day filled with fine food, fun art, and friendship.

Now, for Black Russian Friday. Happy Friday, my friends.

Friday Friends:) Fun, Food, and Painting

2 Mar

“Blessings are endless when shared with friends.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was my painting day with my senior friends at Towne Creek. We were working on painting some more bowls for Empty Bowls.

I made some sandwiches, soup, and other snacks for our feast.

Off to the Dollar Store to buy more bowls, then scurry over to Towne Creek. We had fun painting our bowls.

They turned out pretty nice.

After we had our feast and cleaned up our mess, we gave our hugs and good byes.

Helene and I went over to the Senior Center for the First Friday Dance with the Rough Riders Band. Lots of fun.

Happy Friday! Now I’m home. Time to fix my traditional Black Russian. Yay!

Saturday:) Some Seriously Special Friends

3 Feb

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

~Oprah Winfrey


The first Friday of the month, I visit my dear friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. We paint, draw, eat, laugh, tell stories, sing songs and share fun times together. I had prepared a wonderful feast for our dinner break of pasta salad, hot dogs, brownies, chips, Dr. Pepper and brownies. I packed up two big bins of food and art supplies. We were going to work on painting more bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

I arrived at 2:30 and unpacked all the supplies. I put the food in the fridge and set up the tables, lining up the bowls to be painted. Guess what? I forgot the glass paint at home. How do you paint without the right paint? Duh! The good news is that I did bring a container of brushes and permanent markers. The markers will adhere and stay on the ceramic bowls. Not paint, but almost as good. I also brought some blank notecards, and we painted and stenciled some cards.

Here’s what I created real quick in between setting up, helping out, demonstrating, and cooking.

We finished up our bowls and cards then sat down for our Friday feast.

Feeling blessed with so many special friends.

Also, when I made brownies for “my ladies,” as I like to call them, I made an extra batch for “my firemen” friends over at Fire Station 9.

It was funny. While we sat around talking and eating, I was telling my ladies all about the country dances at the senior center. They meet every Monday at 1pm, but they have an evening dance the first Friday of the month with a live band. I was thinking about going, but I didn’t feel like going alone. Miss Dorothy said that she’d be happy to go with me. So, after we cleaned up and packed up, Dorothy and I went to the dance at 7. It was fun. There were about 125 people there, and I even bumped into a few friends…literally. That line dancing can be dangerous, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing, like me.

I have been blessed with so many really special friends,

Friday Friends and More Fun Painting With Coffee

27 Oct

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

― Kahlil Gibran


I usually go to visit my senior friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments on the first Friday of the month, but I called a couple of residents and asked if I could come today instead. This way we could celebrate Halloween and work on some more coffee painting. Plus, Miss Nelma was feeling a little better, and I was anxious to have her come and paint with us, as she’s missed a few months.

It was a beautiful morning, so I was able to get a long walk in, get to the store, and get over to Towne Creek by 2:30. I packed up a wide variety of canvases, brushes, examples, stencils, markers, liquid coffee, and lots of food for our feast.

I was especially happy to see Miss Nelma ( above

lower right) looking so good, smiling, and back to enjoying her painting project.

While our paintings were drying, we gathered for a prayer and our feast. Some of my homemade chicken pot pie pasta soup, sandwiches, chips, Dr. Pepper, and Halloween donuts. I plum forgot the ice cream in the freezer. Oops! Next time.

We all had a lot of fun and had full tummies.

This is what it’s all about, my friends. I love these sweet ladies and they love me right back. And if you ask any of them, just ask, “Toni is….?” And they’ll all say, “AMAZING!” I have them well trained. I even wore my bracelet today that says, “I am amazing,” just in case there was any question.

Now, to fix myself my traditional Friday Black Russian. Cheers, my friends!!!!

Friday:) Friends and Fun Painting With Coffee

6 Oct

“A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.”

~Hedy Lamarr


This afternoon was a fun day painting with my senior friends over at Towne Creek. I go over there the first Friday of the month. I used to go every Friday for over five years before I cut back. I can’t believe it’s already my eleventh year I’ve been volunteering there. Where does the time go?

My project for today was painting with coffee. I did a few test runs and example during the week to try and come up with some simple techniques. I even made a video, but I’m saving that for another post. Ha.. I just laughed to myself… perhaps I’ll save it for the “Saturday Evening Post.” I guess you have to be old to get the joke. A Norman Rockwell moment.

So, I did a quick demo on painting a small canvas with the coffee mixture, about a think ink consistency. Then, I let them chose what they wanted to add to it, painting on watercolor paper, then cutting it out and glueing with foam on the back for dimension. While the coffee paintings dried, we had our little feast of hot dogs, chips, onion dip, pasta salad, and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. When you’re working hard, you need nourishment and a short break.

We also worked on some smaller notecards. And Miss Kathy wanted to paint some pumpkins for Fall. So, we had a wide variety of projects going on.

Miss Kathy completed a canvas and three notecards. The two crosses are actually dimensional, and look pretty cool.

Miss Bonnie said she loved the smell of the coffee.

I painted a mountain scene when I saw a box of Kleenex on a table that had a cool picture along the sides, demonstrating that anything can be inspirational.

Basically, this is just an instant coffee and water mixture used instead of paint. Someone asked me how long I thought the coffee paintings would last, and I replied, “Art is very temporary. Enjoy it today, who knows what tomorrow will bring.” Very profound..right? It was a good day. Any day with art and friends and food and laughter, is a good day.

Wednesday:) What a Wonderful Auction at Towne Creek

6 Sep

“You have to be excited about your life.”

― Lailah Gifty Akita


This afternoon, the residents at Towne Creek Senior Apartments had their first TC BUCKS AUCTION. Such an inspirational idea to promote participation of the senior residents. People were given TC Bucks, play money, for attending meetings, social events, health workshops, etc. This idea enticed people who normally stayed in their apartments to become more active and social.

The service coordinator, Christy Sadler, solicited donations from local businesses, churches and friends for the auction. I even received a mention for gathering items and asking friends to participate. The outpouring of fantastic donations was nothing less than amazing. Christy put together wonderful baskets and displays and booklets to promote the auction.

The residents had cute little paddles with their number for bidding, and the charming, Jim Smith was the ever enetertaining auctioneer.


My dear friend, and member of my art group, Miss Bonnie, scored three adorable baskets filled with goodies, gifts, lotions, jewelry, snacks, etc.

I overheard one lady, after the auction was over say, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had.”

A big thank you to all the donors, churches, businesses, and especially my friends who gave me bags and boxes filled with treasures and trinkets, and Mr. Mike for all the art work, wall art, canvases, and that beautiful big metal clock.

A good time was had by all.