Monday, May 30, 2011

Karen and I have kept in close touch while I'm out of the country and she's kept me in the loop with all the TWC happenings.  I'm going to keep this short and sweet since this computer at my Mum's house is aging and the internet connection is spotty at best, but this will help keep you all abreast of the latest news.

Debra Silbar and TWC member Kirsten Bohman were key organizers in the Topanga Elementary School's fundraising efforts (their Give Back program) for Topanga Women's Circle.  Karen and I had a classroom presentation with the fourth graders and then there was an all school assembly where TWC was honored for all they do.  A couple of weeks later the proceeds of their non-perishable food and gift card drive were given to Karen.  The picture below shows some of their donations, as well as one of their hand-drawn posters and the gift cards.  What a terrific group of kids and parents and what a wonderful lesson for all the children, showing them just how much they can do to make a difference to those in need. Around $300 in gift cards were donated and this whole gift card donation is a great idea to us...if you have friends who would like to help, suggest a gift card to Target or one of the grocery stores or any other practical store.  The beauty of the card is it takes up zero space and we can use it as needed.  We'll meet with the fourth graders one more time before their summer break to collect the Cuties that they've made.  For those of you who haven't done a set-up, the Cuties are little stuffed critters that they make as well as a 'Welcome' note.  We make sure we put one on each child's bed when we do our set-ups.

Karen and Mary Morley are offering a sewing class to interested moms at the transitional living home in Venice and you'll see below a great pic of the ladies taking the class; Laura, Rochelle and Teresa.  The ladlies are so interested in learning how to sew, but between kids running wild, failing electricity and wonky sewing machines, it doesn't always go smoothly.  Kudos ro Karen and Mary for doing this.  If any of you would like to volunteer to help, please drop Karen an email at,  Also, have you got any ideas or talents you'd like to share with these very needy moms at Venice?

Lee Kelly at The Messenger has invited us to send her our meeting dates so soon we'll be posting this info in the paper!

And finally, our Mother's Day fundraising effort was a great success, earning TWC a little over $3,500.  The final accounting from Community Partners hasn't yet come in, but that's a close approximation.

Can't seem to move the pictures below to the right spot in this posting, but the first is of the ladies at their sewing class, the middle is of the donations from Topanga Elementary and the third is one of the Fourth Grade classes posters with the collected gift cards.  Please forgive typos and errors but this ancient machine is winning and I'm done!  See you all soon.  We'll try and organize a meeting for later in June.



Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom Plus Eight

Well, Wednesday's set-up was exhausting but made so much easier by Karen's solo herculean organizing stint earlier in the week, joined by Mary Morley a couple of days before the set-up.  I helped by sorting through children's clothes that we already had and then took some of our TWC funds and bought new underwear and socks for all the kids.  Isabel Freeman and Pia Christenson sorted through books, toys and stuffed animals, enough to make the kids feel like they each had something very special.  Wendy Skolfield, who has been working more hours than there are on your clock, stopped by at 10:30 P.M. the night before the set-up, with enough groceries to last this family a good while.  My husband helped her unload her car and 18 bags later (EIGHTEEN) they were done.  Thank you SO much Wendy for ensuring that there will be food aplenty for this needy family. Annie Gabbert brought cleaning supplies and much needed paper goods to help with the set-up, Teresa Rosati brought sheets and a nightie for the oldest daughter while Marlene Franz brought two sets of sheets for the kids. Thanks to all of these ladies for responding to the call because besides being physically exhausting, this set-up has seriously depleted our container of items necessary for creating some semblance of home for these needy folks.

Teresa Rosati, Paulette Rapp, Mary Morley, Karen and I gathered outside the bin on Wednesday morning and started loading our cars...ALL FIVE of them.  That's right, no carpooling for this set-up.  Karen had wisely called Westwood the day before asking them to make sure that two of the fellows who work there were free to help us unload and carry stuff from our cars and up the stairs to the apartment and help us they did.   It was a hot day and we were all pretty exhausted afterwards, but as you'll see from the pictures, I think it turned out pretty well.

Before I post the pictures, I want to let you all know a few things.  Karen got a phone call last night from Westwood Transitional Village...a veteran (mom) and her five-year old boy had been moved in to an apartment, an emergency move-in, earlier that day. We would like to pack bags of items and take them to her on Monday since we were unable to do a set-up for her.  Can anyone help with this?  Karen also got a call that she's got a set-up at Venice Community Housing on Monday so between Venice and Westwood and organizing for both of these move-ins, she will be uber-busy.  I will be gone for the next month and it is imperative that Karen get as much help as can be offered from our volunteer base. 

We wanted to send out a special thank you to all of you who have ordered Mother's Day cards and an extra special thank you to Noelle Berman for all she has done for us for the past two years.  The color copying work that she has given to us on vellum paper is an amazing contribution.  This is an expensive process and we are so appreciative of her continued support. Thank you, Noelle xo. 

Susan Lovell's release party was really a beautiful afternoon and great fun.  Thanks to Janaki Welch and Catherine McClenahan for joining Karen and me at this event.  It was very generous of Susan to offer to share some of our proceeds with TWC, but it was also a wonderful platform to share with others just what TWC does.  We met some terrific people there who I hope will become an active part of our mission.

Don't forget Marlene Franz's art show this coming Saturday.  She and other artists are donating a share of their sales to TWC.  Please gather at Marlene's beautiful home for a wonderful afternoon of art, community, conversation, wine and tea in honor of Motherhood and to!  If you haven't yet ordered a Mother's Day card, they will be on sale at this show as well as assorted packs of our beautiful greeting cards. If anyone can help Karen on Saturday for an hour or so, it would be most appreciated.  Please call her at 310.455.1929.

Saturday, May 7th, 11 AM - 6 PM
2076 Hillside Drive in Topanga

And don't forget that TODAY is OPEN BIN day with Lisa O'Laughlin between 10:30 and noon.  We are super low on everything after yesterday's set-up so whatever you could contribute will be accepted with gratitude.
And here is photographic evidence of Wednesday's major set-up!  I'm sure many of you will see items that you've donated!  Again, many thanks to all of you who helped.

The girls bunkbed
 The boys' bunkbed


 The big boys' beds

                                                                                                         The older sister's bed

The Mom's bedroom that she shares with the baby

The kitchen.  Every shelf was filled.  Wendy Skolfield, thank you!!!!

                                                                   The dining area

                                                     Living Room looking into Dining Area