"The Lady In Red." That's what the kids call her. And if you know Yvonne, you'll know why. Let's just say her wardrobe is, well, hard to forget.
But it's not just her clothing that makes her one of a kind. Her friendliness, dedication, and warm smile have made her a West Seattle celebrity.
Yvonne is what some might call "a success story." After all, she was homeless before selling Real Change. First in Sacramento, then in Seattle. Three years ago she was eating out of garbage cans; now she eats organic.
"I love selling at the West Seattle PCC [because] it's helped me with my health," she says. And she means it. Just a few years ago, Yvonne's blood pressure was 226/200 and climbing (140/90 is considered "high"). It was what
many doctors would term "severe." Now, it's 110/70.
How did she do it? By eating healthy, organic food. Yvonne does nearly all her grocery shopping at PCC, and "it's made a big difference," she says.
But we all know that being healthy isn't just about what you eat -- it's about how you live your life, whom you build relationships with, the ability to give love and support and receive it. Yvonne has found community in West Seattle, an ingredient you won't find in a recipe book or on a store shelf.
"She is loved and adored by West Seattle," one customer says. Another: "She radiates kindness and goodwill."
People look forward to being greeted by her smile, and she looks forward to greeting them too. "Without you, there would be no me here at this spot," Yvonne says. "I'm at a loss for words, just to know that I have so many people that love me...Thank you."
As for Real Change: "It's made a change in my life."