Monday, November 18, 2013

Tuesday, November 5 Meeting

Monday, December 2 Meeting:  Location to be announced (would anyone like to host this meeting?)

Saturday, December 21 and Sunday December 22 if needed:  Wrapping gifts for Venice kids

While I was sorry to miss all of you at this meeting, through the wonderful notes that Nancy took and my chats with Karen, here is a recap for all of you who were unable to attend.

Firstly, many thanks to Catherine McClenahan for hosting the gathering at her lovely home.  Catherine is always a terrific host and this was no exception.

A warm welcome to Allyn Katleman who has recently joined TWC and has already done her first set-up.  Thanks for your interest in TWC, Allyn, and we look forward to seeing more of you.

Karen reported on a wonderful surprise gift from a fellow Advisory Board member at Westwood Transitional Village, Debbie Isaacman.  Debbie has worked with the same group of girls, including her two daughters, from elementary through high school, first as a Brownie leader and staying with them as they progressed to Girl Scouts.  A great believer in public service, Debbie has obviously instilled this spirit in the girls and this summer, as the troop disbanded and final plans for heading off to college were made, they decided what they would like to do with the profits from their 2013 cookie sales and Topanga Women's Circle was the lucky recipient of their generosity...$750!  What a very special gift for us, especially with Christmas fast approaching.

And yet another story of generous high school girls...Liz Dupuy, TWC volunteer and art teacher at Louisville High School, was involved with their Spirit Week activities, one of which included each class year having a 5-gallon water jug which they were asked to fill with silver (which were negative points) just pennies.  And the group who collected the most pennies won spirit points.  Let the competition begin!!! What happened was nothing short of clever...girls sneaking and throwing handfuls of silver into the other jugs and then retaliation by other classes!  It was all in good fun and amazingly successful!  The monies collected were split between three worthy charities, including ours. Liz will be taking a group of girls out shopping in the New Year for items that we especially need with the $333 awarded TWC! Thank you, Liz!

And here is another fantastic group of girls led by Jenny Griffiths.  In early October Jenny sent me an email in which she said her mother/daughter group was so inspired by the work we did that they made some art boxes for us to include in set-ups...quite a few art boxes!  I was away when Jenny delivered them to our Bin, but they are just terrific and will be a welcome addition to our set-ups.  She said when they were deciding what to put in the boxes, one of the girls came upon a bunch of art supplies that Marlene Frantz had no need for and had put out on the road for anyone to take...and these girls took those supplies and included them in the creative boxes that they put together.  We will be taking one or two for sure to our big set-up on Monday, November 18.

We will be getting the date to you shortly, but Azmina's wonderful Xmas sale (in which she generously shares some of her profits with TWC) is coming up in December.  This is a wonderful event and anyone who was at the meeting at Leslie Carlson's house in September got a taste of the beautiful items Azmina will be selling.  Because of time constraints, we discussed how we can best market and sell the gorgeous items Azmina is offering us at less than cost in the upcoming year.  We will let you know the sale date for her big Xmas sale soon.

Discussed at the meeting was the idea of having a particular theme for each meeting, i.e., bath items (soap, toothpaste, sanitary products, etc), non-perishable foods, etc, i.e., things we are running low on.

We will get to you a list of good prices for items so if you are out shopping and see a great sale, for example, on pillows, you can buy a bunch and we will reimburse you.  Lisa O'Laughlin saw a great sale at Target on sheets and purchased around 22 sets!  The price was amazing, she recognized it and boom, in her own inimitable way, she bought 'em!  Yay Lisa!

Patty Colvig has put together a non-perishable food list which was passed out at the meeting. Thank you, Patty.

And along this line, it is a great time of year for non-perishable food drives.  You see the bins everywhere, so why not have some for TWC?  Patty and April are on this one and at the Topanga Chamber meeting this week, there were already some donations (thank you Catherine Grasso!).  A friend of Karen's is collecting at her salon.  Perhaps we should ask our own salons to consider placing a Christmas bin for TWC?

We will be getting an on-line, interactive, sign-up site for the Christmas gift giving for the kids at Venice Community Housings Transitional Living Center.  Some of the gift items are larger ticket items and would be great for us to team up with others for purchasing.  Share the love!  Barb Metzenbaum has offered to organize this for us. Thanks, Barb.  Linda Handler recommended this website:

The idea was shared that every holiday gathering we have, why not make it a non-perishable food drive (that is where our list would help).  For example, Catherine McClenahan's Scat Salon and her neighborhood Christmas party will be gathering food this way.  Susan Lovell and Lisa O'Laughlin did this to great success.  And speaking of Susan, she passed on a birthday gift from her niece...instead of buying Susan a gift, she made a donation to TWC.  How kind was that!?

Allyn Katleman has volunteered to head our holiday card committee.  Thank you, Allyn.  We will talk with you further about this in the upcoming weeks.  April had mentioned that she thought it would be great to have some Hanukkah cards and we all agreed.  In the meantime, Jill (Green) Palethorpe has already designed and is printing some darling Bar and Bat Mitzvah cards.  Thank you, Jill.  Debra Skelton also brought up the importance of some blank cards...good point, Debra, and we will include blanks in this next card making drive.

Speaking of Jill, she organizes events (weddings, etc) at her beautiful Malibu home and has offered it to us for a fundraiser...obviously this has to be well planned in advance so there are no date conflicts, but keep your fundraising hats on ladies!  Karen and I took a trip out there a few weeks ago to collect many terrific items from her including dishes, cutlery, glassware, etc that had been left by caterers and never picked up.

And finally, there is a wonderful organization in Venice, just down the street from the Transitional Living Center, called SPY (Safe Place for Youth) and tries to help youth living rough in the Venice area by offering these runaway kids a hot meal twice a week, warm clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.  It is also an incubator charity under the umbrella of Community Partners and whenever we have an excess of sweatshirts or t-shirts, etc., we will pass them along to SPY.  So, we have a request for all of you.  The weather is turning colder so would you all check your closets and if you have any old sleeping bags that you no longer use, would you let us know and we will deliver them to SPY.  Thanks!

December is always a busy month for families and TWC and this year is no exception.  Here are some dates which will hopefully work for all of you.

Monday, December 2 Meeting:  Location to be announced (would anyone like to host this meeting?)

Saturday, December 21 and Sunday December 22 if needed:  Wrapping gifts for Venice kids