Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer is almost over, kids are returning to school and apparently this blogger took the summer off!  But just because I was not writing about what we did doesn't mean that nothing happened.  The following are some photos that give you a general idea of some of our activities, from open bins to set-ups.

While there were frustrations aplenty, both at Venice and Westwood, the problems were mostly due to faulty communications, something that frustrates Karen and me more than we can say (especially when we have volunteers ready and on-site...grrrrr).  One attempt at a set-up at Westwood was aborted due to a severe roach infestation...and my nose itches just thinking about it. There were seven or eight of us ready for that set-up but instead of decorating we headed off to Montana Avenue for coffee and nibbles. (Thank you Lizzie...whose back itches at the thought of roaches!)  Good times!

Highlights of the summer have been aplenty, though, and a few of the photos below will show you the magic we are able to create.  For Karen and me, a major highlight each and every week is your amazing devotion to our dear Bin!  Thanks to Nancy's email updates and superior scheduling talent and the way all of you have filled in each and every date, the community has come to expect us to be there every Saturday morning from 9 to 10:30...and we are!  Some mornings are crazy busy and others are just terrific times to have a coffee and do a little sorting and chatting.
Bin Goddesses, Catherine and Holly hard at work and the Bin....
aisles packed and ready for a set-up

And now cars at the ready and loaded

This happens pretty is almost 10:30 and the volunteers are all set to close the doors  on the Saturday morning open bin when a car drives up, all the doors open, and a cheerful donor who is so happy that she was not too late and has a few things for us. This was great kids clothing and many, many wonderful toys.

And then one day Lizzie Kipner gave me a call and said she had a few things for us.  So we met up at the Bin and THUD...her entire car was filled with bounty from Costcos.  Mac n cheese, peanut butter and jely, soups, soaps, washcloths, toothbrushes, 
pasta and spaghetti sauce and some darling baby clothes.

And here are a lot of pictures from various set-ups...each one so different.

I can always tell when Pat Lester has been on a set-up because she never fails to bring fresh flowers from her garden.

And I know when Holly has been on a set-up...I mean who else creates a paper fan 
and decorative greenery with a roll of paper towels.

Groovy Girls.  I forgot who donated all these great GGs, but they sure made two sisters happy at the Transitional Living Center at Venice Community Housing.

Karen and I had a small set-up at Westwood.  I was in the kitchen and she was back in the mom's bedroom when I heard a squeal.  I went running back and after being initially startled, she was laughing at something we had inadvertently brought to Westwood from Topanga.   

So we took him outside and introduced him to his new home.

Potholders  in both pictures below made by Pat Lester.  They are gorgeous!

TWC volunteer Azmina Kanji has a great idea for a fundraiser.  She has the most exquisite jewelry and silk scarves, made by hand at her businesses in India.  Here are some examples of her lovely work.  More details to follow, but Karen and I are really excited about this project.  Holidays will soon be upon us and these are just the most beautiful gift ideas!

Gorgeous quilt on the back of the couch, a pretty lamp and a twenty dollar rug from Ikea really help make the room like welcoming.  Dont forget to bring your recent magazines to the Bin...National Geographics, Vanity Fair, Decorating Mags...anything light and not too date sensitive.  
Nice to put on the coffee table and by the bed.

Here are some great perishables that Paula Fagan brought for our last set-up.  
Lorna and Linda Mann went down to the herb garden in Venice and included a nice sprig of rosemary with the fruit.  I spy two more Pat Lester potholders.

Bougainvillea in a vase and a new shower curtain really helped to create a lovely color palette in the bathroom.  Everything kind of matches, right?

The set-up below was for a mom and her two little boys, aged 4 and one.  They had been living in a shelter (had to be out at 8 AM and not allowed back til 6 PM) for quite some time and were so excited about their new shared housing at The Transitional Living Center in Venice.  They will share the bathroom above with another mom and child but the bedroom below is just for them.  Baby in a crib and mom and 4-y.o. in the bunk bed.

Catherine, cleaning with attitude in Venice!

I dont know if you all know about Baby2Baby (they are them!) but they are a wonderful group we have been associated with since their early days in a shop front on Pico Blvd.   They recently put together some fantastic goody bags for the children at the Bessie Pregerson CDC after asking us for a list with their names, sizes, likes, etc. They said they would drop me a line when they were ready. After I got word that the bags were waiting for us, Sue Forbes and I headed over to Baby2Baby where we quickly realized we should have brought two cars! Look at all the bounty!  You can just about see Sue behind the bags!

Another big shout-out to Baby2Baby for all their donations to us of cleaning products and laundry detergent from The Honest Company.

And finally, check out our great sewing kits below.  The Chapman girls helped make the pincushions.  Good job, girls!!!  Pictured below are examples of the kits with two wounded stuffed toys.  Mickey had lost his whiskers and the frog had a serious injury to his throat.  Karen repaired them and with these kits, the moms will find that they have all they need to hem a pair of pants or sew on a button.  We now give a sewing kit to each family...a wonderful addition to the set-ups.

And do not forget...we are always in need of non-perishables.  Our stocks are constantly running low, so keep us in mind when you are at the grocery store.  Also, needed are  components for these sewing kits:  needles, thread (black, white, tan), pins, measuring tapes, scissors, etc.  

Stay cool and we will see you all soon.