Miss Kitty helps less fortunate with The Loving Cup
Alpine County Bureau
Her teeth were chattering as she huddled on the stool. “Let me get you something hot to drink,” were the comforting words offered to the stranger by Miss Kitty Tyler. It was over 30 years ago that Miss Kitty was tending bar on that cold winter night.
The stranger was living in her van in Hope Valley, and had stopped at the Minden Inn. She could not have known that she had come to just the right place for help. Once warm, the woman asked if she could play something on the piano in thanks. She sat down and played the theme from Dr. Zhivago flawlessly, with both beauty and grace.
Miss Kitty, who has a deep understanding of hardship and suffering, swung into action. She organized donations from local businesses and individuals, and put out a cup on the corner of the bar for cash assistance. With the donations, she helped the woman put her life back together. An evening dress was generously given for the occasion, and the woman performed a live concert for one of the local television stations. After this event, Miss Kitty, her son Troy Richardson, and the owner of the Minden Inn, Papa Casentini, continued with what they came to call “The Loving Cup.” Whenever they saw someone in need, they were able to put together resources to help.
As the years have passed, Miss Kitty’s efforts have taken many different forms in varying locations. But she has always made it her goal to bring comfort to those living in their cars or out on the streets in whatever way would most benefit their lives. While “The Loving Cup” focuses mainly on cash donations, her other program “Tis’ the Season” collects clean, gently-used winter clothing, shoes, socks, jackets, blankets, rolling suitcases, and backpacks for the adult homeless. Both are now sponsored by the Alpine Christian Community Church.
Members of the Church help collect donations and Miss Kitty loads her van and takes a route through Alpine County, Lake Tahoe, Gardnerville, Minden, and Carson City. She ends her rounds at the Reno Gospel Mission. She does not randomly give out supplies, but listens to what each individual has to say so they receive items that are fitted to their unique needs.
The generosity of Gardnerville managers Robert Londregan at Nifty Thrifty and Mary Marques at Helping Hands helps Miss Kitty find just the right supplies to assist those on the streets make it through the frigid cold of the winter months.
Miss Kitty feels compelled to make sure people are warm, and their hunger is kept at bay. She takes the time to look for those going through difficult times, or somehow they find her. “Tis’ the Season” is a newer program, now in its second year. If you would like to help those struggling this holiday season, or at any other time of the year, you can mail donations to: Alpine Christian Community Church, attention: The Loving Cup, 150 Old Pony Express Road, Markleeville, California 96120. If you have items that the homeless can use, call 530 694-2310 for drop-off locations. Like the first woman who was alone and cold and inspired this continued dedication, there are many others who need solace in our communities. It is time to offer as much as we can, joining Miss Kitty and the Alpine Church with an open heart to make a real difference in people’s lives.