Standing in the tall grass she gazed peacefully across the rippling waters of the Puget Sound. A picnic at the Sculpture Park was the Women of Real Change (WORC) event of the month. "She participated in every activity: making cookies, going to a self-defense class, soaking her hands in hot water for the Beauty and Self-Care day" said Virginia Weihs, former WORC coordinator.
"She also had really great ideas for the meetings that unfortunately we weren't able to do, like visiting a radio station and going fishing."
Jo Pinkston has a desire to learn. When not selling Real Change, Pinkston takes advantage of the free education classes offered at the library. She is especially interested in learning how to better use the computer. "I can use it [computer knowledge] everywhere."
Pinkston would also like to learn subjects such as English, math, and science. She hopes one day to pursue a student loan and return to school. In the meantime, she reads the paper. "It educates me on what I don't know. What I would have to go to school for."
From the city of trolley cars and the Golden Gate Bridge she came to Seattle to "try to find shelter, food, clothing, to get a job." In Real Change she found a job that fits her need for flexibility and her love of interacting with the public. "It helps me to move and to think." Eventually she plans on translating this love into a job in customer service.
For now, she sells the paper at the Safeway in lower Queen Anne and speaks with a rare sweetness and sincerity.