Mae Wygant is an artist with vision. It is her ability to carry her vision to fruition that has benefited thousands of elderly Bay Area residents. An ordained elder at her church, Mae spoke with fellow church members gathered at her kitchen table about the unmet needs of older Marinites. Many were passing their days without any visitors or companionship other than attending medical personnel. Enlisting the support of friends, neighbors and others willing to volunteer, Mae founded “Love Is The Answer” (LITA) in 1975. LITA is an agency that makes friendship connections between residents of convalescent homes and volunteers. Through her persistence and commitment to service, agencies have been established over the years in Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. LITA continues to grow; in 1996, a LITA was formed in Napa County.
Mae now faces the challenges of living with a chronic neuro-muscular disease. Over the past decade, she has experienced problems with her vision, muscle coordination and the daily consciousness of living “less able.” But while Mae has had to slow down her busy schedule, she continues with her successful painting career and with her LITA involvement. She serves as an advisor to LITA in Sonoma, and recently volunteered as a LITA coordinator in a local hospital. Mae also financially supports LITA by donating some of her artwork to be sold at LITA fund-raisers. Her plans for the future include LITA, exhibiting new artworks and writing more poetry.