Sick Babies at St. Lawrence Place

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls

sick baby

Lila Anna’s sick baby

I’m working from home this morning.  One of my twins has a fever, so he’s out of daycare for the day. It’s particularly frustrating because his twin brother was out last week, with the same virus. One day last week Becca’s oldest had strep. He played at her feet scattering popcorn around her office, while she got a few things done before running out to disinfect her house.  Finally, Jessica ran back and forth for two days with her own case of strep and a sick husband and daughter at home with a bug.

Live Oak Place: New Affordable Housing for Formerly Homeless Families

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls


Almost 25 years ago a group of caring, concerned, people came together to talk about homeless families in Columbia. They talked about what they needed – not just temporarily, but long term – to permanently get out of the heartbreaking situation they had found themselves in. These caring, concerned, parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral founded Trinity Housing Corporation, a 501-c-3 with its own board of directors and staff, to take on this task.

Trinity Housing started with a duplex, on Hope Avenue. (When I tell this story people think I made up the street name, it’s so absolutely fitting…) When the City of Columbia offered property on Waites Road in early 1991, St. Lawrence Place was born, and two families became 28.


The CEO Is On Vacation (Kind Of)

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls

Each year I go on vacation. You know, the “I’m gonna’ turn my phone off and forget SLP” kind of vacation. And I never make it.

Someone recently pointed out to me I wasn’t that important. I laughed…isn’t recognizing the problem the first step towards “recovery?” So this year…like no other…I was going to do it…I wasn’t going to use my phone for anything except taking pictures of my family.

Post-beach baby

Post-beach baby

On the first day I hauled my children down to the beach with sand buckets and boogie boards, but then I caught myself wondering how many of our St. Lawrence Place kids had seen the ocean (then I checked my phone). I spent an embarrassing amount of money on ice cream, and then I wondered if that was why people didn’t send donations during the summer…we spend all our extra money on waffles cones (and then I checked my phone.)

colin ice cream

And then the fancy phone I inherited when I was promoted all those years ago delivered the email with the news of a cut to one of our federal grants. So I tossed and turned all night while on vacation adjusting our budget (and I checked my phone.)

You see, my friend was right. I’m not so important that I have to check my email and phone constantly. But the people we serve are. And I have to thank him for helping me realize that.


P.S. if I hadn’t checked my phone I wouldn’t have realized I’d forgotten to write this blog post, and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to thank him!

Sent from my iPhone

Help Wanted: Spanish Tutor

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls

Help Wanted

Spanish tutor needed several hours a week through end of May. Applicant should be fluent in Spanish and willing to work with a teenager. Schedule flexible during after-school hours. No pay. If interested, contact St. Lawrence Place at 256.3999.


I took French and Latin in high school. My children are taking Spanish in school. I listen to them as they talk to each other in a language I don’t understand. I have a dear friend who has family in Puerto Rico. I’ve picked u p a few words from her – but they’re mostly the type of words you use to discipline your children (loudly, as our boys rough house in the yard!). I’m no help when they bring home projects or homework, and I can’t call out words as they prepare for tests.  My oldest son’s Spanish teacher called just to say how well he was doing…and I told her he must get it from his father!

So, when I got the email yesterday saying one of our St. Lawrence Place teens needed a Spanish tutor I felt absolutely helpless. The feeling of stepping off the train in Paris washed over me again, and I began to search for someone- anyone – who could speak the language. But wait…it’s not only someone who can speak the language, it’s someone who is willing to sit down with a teenager and spend time helping him, caring about him, when they could be home with their own family. They have to have knowledge of Spanish AND a have a big heart.

Not your typical help-wanted advertisement!

This person could make the difference between a summer of camp or a summer of school: a difference between a soaring self confidence level and the feeling of failure. This person could let this child know someone cares, and teach them some Spanish while they’re at it.

Are you willing to apply?

Thank You!

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls

Jim Christopher, THC Board Member

Thank…all of you!

Someone gave me a compliment in our board meeting yesterday. What he said is irrelevant, but I can tell you it made me feel good. I called my husband and two friends on the way back to the office! Maybe that’s just human nature… we all have the need to hear we’re doing a good job every now and then.

Time, Talent- but most importantly- Treasure

Posted by: Lila Anna Sauls

A long-time SLP supporter called yesterday to let me know she was having a gathering Friday night and wanted to turn the evening into a “good will party.”  Then she asked what we needed.  “I can ask for anything you need,” she said. “Paper goods, pots and pans, or just plain-old, hard, cold, cash.”