Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 28 Meeting Recap

Last night's meeting at Liz Dupuy's beautiful home was well attended and, as usual, we ate well. It was really lovely having our dinner outside and having some time to chat to so many of you but especially nice spending a little time with our new members Toni, Andrea, April and Linda.  I've got email addresses for all of you except Andrea so Toni, could you send me Andrea's contact info.

Sophie Kipner took copious notes and I'm going to try and cover everything so those of you who couldn't make the meeting are in the loop.

Feed the Fish:  Karen bought and decorated our new TWC 'Feed the Fish' fishbowl which we'll put out at each meeting.   Whenever you have a few dollars you can contribute, we can assure you the funds will be put to good use.  There are certain set-ups that when we arrive we suddenly discover there are four beds not three, or the children's ages or sizes are different to that which we were told and we have to make an emergency trip to Target.  This cash will be used for shortfalls that we occasionally run into,  so thanks to all of you who fed the fish last night.

Mother's Day Card Recap:  Our cards seem to be a really great way of raising funds for TWC and this year was no exception.  But we also know it could even be more successful if we started earlier and contacted folks who had ordered in the past.  To that end, Karen and I will build on the spread sheet that Janaki created last year and really get our donor list in order.  Janaki, have you still got it (or did you give it to me already)? 

More Cards:   Patty Colvig had a great idea.  Why stop at Mother's Day cards?  Why not have birthday cards as well.  We're on it!

And Deborah Kashinsky has some beautiful original oils which she is going to explore  the idea of printing and creating beautiful gift card sets with all proceeds to be donated to TWC (thank you, Deborah!).  To this end, we'll help her explore ideas of printers, costs associated with this, etc.

Cook Book:   A couple of weeks ago Annie Gabbert contacted us to chat a little further about the idea of a TWC cookbook.  There are a couple of ways we can go with the cookbook; one is creating a spiral-bound compilation of simple and nutritious recipes, perhaps family favorites, that TWC members can submit to us for inclusion.  Annie is happy to do the formatting and be in charge of this project and I think it could really be a terrific addition to our kitchen set-ups.  Please start thinking about what recipes you'd like included in this project and start scooting them our way.  Another idea, and this would take a lot longer to formulate and create, is putting together a larger spiral-bound cookbook that we sell as a fundraiser.  Obviously, the recipes in this would be not just family favorites but also more complex dishes that you prepare for company and special occasions.  But let's start with the simpler one first.  Feedback would be appreciated.

TWC Needs:  We'll get a list together of our frequent needs and give each of you a few copies which you can share with friends.  Also, Sophie Kipner had the idea of putting one of those clear, plastic boxes (the kind that real estate agents use) outside the storage container with information sheets on just what TWC is and how they can help).

Doing More?:  As our group of volunteers grows and more and more folks (including many non-members) in the Canyon think about donating to TWC, our store of children's clothing, books, toys is such that we would like to share it with other organizations.  We are exploring helping Alexandria House in Hollywood, Operation School Bell, Lots of Helping Hands, Haven Hills and Sojourner Truth House with some of the extras that we have in storage.

Every Other Friday Open Container:  This has been such a success and we are so thankful to Lisa O'Laughlin for having this great idea and for all the effort she has put into this.  Because of the wonderful response to this, we would very much like to have the container open every Friday (10:30 AM to Noon).  To that end, we'll create a sign-up sheet for filling in the other Fridays.  We'll be open for business in July, closed in August and get back to a more regular schedule after the children are back in school.

Coordinator:  We're hoping that one of you will take on this job.  One volunteer indicated that she is considering doing this.  We'll keep you posted!  We need some help, that's for sure.

Donations:  We talked about the bags and bags (and more bags) of hoodies and jackets and jeans and more that have come our way from the Lost and Found at Paul Revere and also at Annie Gabbert's children's school.  We need your help in sorting these massive bags into smaller bags, gender and size labeled, i.e., Boys Medium Hoodies, Girls Small Hoodies, etc etc.  Toni has offered to take a bag to sort and I can't remember who else volunteered.  Please give me a ring at 310.455.3850.  If you can't pick up the bags from my house, I'll deliver them.  Thank you!!!

It would be really helpful if one or two other members would coordinate the pick-up/bundling and occasional cleaning of donations.  This would be super helpful even if we shared this with others.  My basement is full of black bags right now but even worse, so is Karen's bedroom!  If any of you would like to help us with this side of TWC, we'd be eternally grateful.

And let's not forget to think about what skills we could share with some of the moms and kids we serve.  Right now Karen and Mary are teaching a sewing class at Venice Community Housing.  Ildy thought she could teach a basic cooking class.  Linda  Handler thought about teaching moms and kids how to prepare for back to school.  Have a think and see what you think you could share with our disadvantaged families. 

And don't forget to head on down to the Container on Friday.  Lisa will be there between 10:30 and Noon.  Special needs right now are:  toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, body wash, deodorant, mouthwash, dental floss, band aids, etc.  Also needed are saran wrap, baggies, aluminum foil, sponges.  Thanks!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 10 Set-Up

Friday's set-up for a mom and her three teenaged sons went really quickly thanks to the help of Dana Briskman and her two children, Cass and Caleb (along with one of Caleb's friends, Gabe).  Karen and I really appreciated the kids' hard work and hope the new family settles in more easily thanks to the efforts and donations of TWC.  Thanks to all of you who brought in donations for this set-up and also thanks to Mary Morley for helping Karen pull items from the shelves the day before. I'll be sending out a notice in a day or two regarding our next meeting which I hope most of you can attend.

Here are some photos from Friday's set-up to give you an idea of how things looked.

Caleb and Gabe helping us load up.

Dana and Cass putting some finishing touches in the kitchen.  Young Cass said she
loves decorating and will be helping us some more this summer I hope!

The table looks welcoming with loads of fresh fruit and a nice runner

The older twin teen brothers' bedroom

The mom's bedroom.  Dana brought sprigs of fresh lavender.
Such a nice touch on the bed which looked so very comfortable.

The mom's bathroom.  Her bedroom and bathroom were upstairs with the boys
two bedrooms and bath downstairs.  It's a nice sized apartment and I'm sure they will love it.

Karen and I always write a welcome note to the incoming family, a terrific
idea that TWC member, Susan Lovell introduced a few months back