Running through your veins blood flows in blues and greens. When exposed to air, hemoglobin, a protein in the blood that carries oxygen, changes shape. Shape changing allows hemoglobin to absorb different wavelengths of light, making it change color. Your blood has oxidized and is now a brilliant red.
That's one reason Vendor of the Week Yvonne E. wears red. "Red is my favorite color. It's the color of assertiveness. It says, 'I'm happy, what about you?'"
Four-and-a-half years ago Yvonne E. passed out while donating plasma to earn a living. They separated her white blood cells from the red but had trouble returning the red cells to her body. "After that, they didn't want me to donate." Around this time, she found out about Real Change. "It was perfect timing."
The paper has become a source of enjoyment and a means of income. "I am able to pay my bills, I have my own one bedroom apartment, and I'm able to eat what I want." Time spent selling the paper in front of PCC West Seattle is also time to interact with people, visit the nearby park, and write poetry.
"Just the other day a gentleman came to PCC to shop and he mounted off his bike. I saw on the back of his shirt "Never Say Quit." I said 'that's my next poem.' I wrote it in ten minutes. It was awesome."
Her hands and pen have been crafting words into poems since she was 15. "It gave me a way to escape all the stuff I was going through. It gave me a way to express how I was feeling, and I found I loved it."
She hopes to publish her poems herself. "I don't want them edited. I want them to say exactly how I'm feeling, straight from my heart."
Yvonne's heart has been snug in Washington for some time. "Washington is my home now. I've been here 7 years and I am love struck. The lakes, the water, the green. I've never seen so much green in my life. The people most of all. The people are friendly, they really care."
To her customers Yvonne says "Thank you for believing in me, without you there's no me. Together we have us, together we're a team. I love you from the center of my heart, not the bottom but the very core. I love you."