Thursday, September 11, 2014

First things first:  We are hoping to have a good turnout for our upcoming meeting on September 17 at 7 PM at Teresa Royer's beautiful home:  1224 N. Topanga Cyn Blvd. Tel. 310.455.1828. Potluck as always. Karen is keeping a tight eye on the shortfalls in the Bin and her current requests for the bring items to next week's meeting are small items:  can openers, cooking tools such as measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.  

It's been a funny couple of months.  Lots of changes at Westwood that have required enormous patience from our volunteer base which, fortunately, you all seem to have in abundance (as opposed to me!!).  Put simply, there is a property management company that handles the intake, paperwork, etc for the incoming families and coupled with the chaotic nature of homelessness and the fact that they are going through many personnel changes, it has been tough.  That said, it is not much fun to arrive at a double set-up and find both apartments uninhabitable due to an infestation.  There have been assurances that this will not happen again and change is in the air and we will keep you all abreast of the outcome. Karen and I have decided that we will hang firm on our three-day upfront notice of a new move-in as we really do need that amount of time, minimally, to make it happen.  No more double set-ups, full stop.  It is too much. Two in a row, but not two in a day.

Our new committees have been in full swing and wow...Karen and I are both finding life much easier now.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  It takes a village and this one has certainly responded!  The non-perishable committee continues to provide the most wonderful items for each set-up.

And here are a few updates from the Bin.  Apparently all of you beautiful Bin Goddesses have been super busy throughout the summer and here are some photos taken by our BGs, as well as set-up photos, to share with you.  I am sure it has not been easy, especially on hot mornings, and we are so appreciative of your contribution to TWC.

Art Boxes continue to be a perfect addition to every set-up.  Here are some beautiful creations made by
Lizzie Scott and friends.  Thank you, girls...they are fantastic.
P.S.  We are always looking for more of these wonderful creations.  The ones made by Annie Gabbert's mother/daughter group and Deborah Ackrich's Brownie Troop are long gone.

I love the way more and more Canyon kids are becoming involved with TWC.
Thank you for your generosity!

New TWC Volunteer Eve Gaines (making the bed!) and her beautiful (and incredibly energetic and productive daughter) Aurora working on the little girl's bedroom. They also created a great room for the little boy.

Big Sis, Aurora, guiding little Sis Chloë . They both did a terrific job.
And speaking of Canyon kids, can you spot the little stuffed animal and personalized note
from a Fourth Grader at Topanga Elementary School? We love putting one of those on every child's bed.
One more shot showing a terrific art box

What it looks like before we head in and see below for a great after shot.
Sometimes a living room/dining room just come together beautifully and this
is an example.  Karen had no idea what color the couch would be when she put together
this color scheme!!!

And sometimes space is tight.  Mom and baby sharing a room.
But so much better than living in a shelter.

Post set-up...that didn't happen.  My smile looks a little forced but I'm trying!

Saturday Morning at the Bin!
And here is Bonnie Graves dropping off some diapers.  Just days before, she and
Patricia Mitchell had made a diaper run to the mid-city, picking up two SUVfulls of diaper donations
from Baby2Baby and dropping them off at the Bessie Pregerson Child Development Center.
Thank you so much,

The reports from the Bin remain positive with each week bringing a new windfall from our community.  A couple of weeks ago a toaster and crock pot from Barbara Waldman were added to our store of great items and Rebecca Franco donated a brand new microwave from her mom, as well as towels and children's clothing. Rebecca's mom has crocheted some beautiful baby blankets as well, one of which we included with this last set-up. Unfortunately, my picture did not turn out, but I promise to put one in the next blog, because they are truly beautiful.  Deborah Kashinsky brought loads of paper goods and other items, including loads from her friend, Joyce.

Akemi, who organized the Fourth Graders with their donation of Cuties and handwritten notes, stopped by with games, books and beautiful brand new stuffed animals.

Nancy reported that on one of her open bin days, Deborah Kashinsky and Pat Lester helped her and said it was a lifesaver.  Loads and loads of non-perishables were donated so the food bins are full to bursting right now, including a nice donation from Geraldine Flaxman.  Susan Lovell also donated a whole load of non-perishables so when the stores are more depleted, I am sure you will hear from Patty Colvig and Catherine Grasso.  Pat Lester is a bargain shopper (and seamstress) extraordinaire and she brought along with her two more art kits and two great bathroom sets including rugs, towels, washcloths, shower curtains and rings.  Deborah brought sheet sets and food.  Sue Forbes volunteered to work the Bin as well but there were already three gals there so she stopped by with a great lantern that operates on batteries and is perfect for illuminating the dark, back interior of the Bin.  What an amazingly generous group of ladies.

Nancy and Karen have suggested, and I concur, that the clothing in the Bin should be sorted through and anything in less than great condition moved on to a charity shop.  It was also decided that we will only accept children's clothing up to size 10.  Teens know what they want and don't want and also sizing becomes very problematic.

We will take existing larger sized teen clothing to SPY (Safe Place for Youth), a community outreach program for run-aways in Venice.  If you have any sleeping bags you want to move along, we will take those to SPY.

I am sure I am forgetting something crucial, but time dictates I sign off for now.  Hope to see you all on the 17th at Teresa's!