Saturday, November 8, 2014

Recap of November 6 Meeting

We had a lively meeting at Deborah Kashinsky's lovely home on Thursday evening filled with delicious food and chatter.  With the crazy warm temperatures, it was hard to believe it was November but the calendar says otherwise.  Nancy Hanson kindly took notes so here is a brief recap of the meeting.

Karen had requested that colorful washcloths and soap be brought since our stores were running low on these items and all we can say is wow...we are now well set for some time. As always, you came through and brought a fabulous selection that will perk up all the bathrooms we set-up for our intake families.  Thank you...all of you...for your continued thoughtfulness.

And another HUGE thank you goes out to Zev Yaroslavsky and his right hand gal, Susan Nissman. With Susan's able guidance we were able to write a grant proposal requesting a share of the discretionary funds that Zev, a true friend of Topanga, could earmark for non-profits he believed in.  He and Susan still believe in us and they awarded us $60,000. For our wee group, this is just amazing.  I don't want to slow down on any fund raising efforts we might have, though.  Many thanks to Arlette Parker, the fonder of TWC, for establishing this close and fruitful relationship. Hopefully, we can put our collective heads together and figure out ways to creatively even do a little more.  What do you think? Any ideas?

We had a brief report from each committee.  Nancy shared all that was going on down at the Bin and put out a request for a couple more volunteers to work at the Bin a few Saturday morning each year.  Only a few, ladies, so please get in touch with her at if you can lend a hand.  Andrea Palella ( asked for a few substitute volunteers for her perishable committee and Wendy Skolfield and I have joined that group.  Patty Colvig shared ideas of how the non-perishable ladies were going to up the ante for donations around the holiday season and gave us some good ideas on how to ask our neighbors and friends to contribute to our food bank for TWC.  She will again target her immediate and v. generous neighborhood at their annual Xmas party. Please contact Patty for a full list of the always needed non-perishables ( I am always looking for volunteers for set-ups.  Thus far we have managed okay, but I frequently see the same faces.  I would love to see all of you do one or two set-ups a year.  

Remember, keep your receipts for any purchases for reimbursement.  We have a shopping price guideline list which will be sent as a separate email attachment which you can print out and keep in your car or purse.  We request that you all be smart shoppers!  You can give me your receipts and I will reimburse you directly but please contact me first so I can have the correct monies ready for you ( You can also leave your receipts with the Bin Goddesses on Saturday mornings.  They will give you an envelope upon which you need to put your name and contact info and we will work out something convenient for reimbursement.

Patricia Mitchell had a class on Thursday night but she is working on ideas for a short video clip for our website and also to be posted on YouTube to be shared with the world.  She has an upcoming meeting with Diane Good at Westwood so we look forward to hearing her ideas.

Have you noticed the great new sign on our Bin?  Thanks go out to Janaki for her hard work in making that happen.  We also have a new banner which was ready in time for the big Zev thank you party at the Theatricum!

Many thanks to Kathy Goldberg for her donation of pottery seconds.  She is a real friend of TWC and this latest donation resulted in $240 for our coffers!  YAY!  We have a few pieces left so if you are interested, let Karen or me know.

If you have furniture in good condition that you would like to donate to Venice or Westwood, they occasionally have need of items for families who are moving into their Section 8 housing.  While they cannot store items and will only accept donations if a family is in immediate need, they will get back to you right away and arrange a pick-up within the week.  With furniture donation queries, please contact:  Tim Sweeney at Venice Community Housing ( or Diane Good at Westwood Transitional Village ( 

And finally on to Christmas...
Some photos from last year's wrapping chaos!

We have the Transitional Living Center's list of children and requested gifts for Christmas. We reminded the group, these families are among the neediest in Los Angeles.  They could not afford to live at Westwood and to provide a Christmas for these kids gives them and their moms joy beyond measure.  Jill Palethorpe has again agreed to create the interactive giving list and once we have that created we will get it out to all of you.  I will create a separate blog posting with the children's names, ages, likes, and a little history about each child just to help you choose what you want to do for them this holiday season.

By separate email I will also be sending to you a sample letter that we are encouraging volunteers to personalize (or send as is!) to friends, family and colleagues.  In it we are asking for donations of $25 gift cards to Target which we can give to the families of children at the Bessie Pregerson Child Development Center at Westwood.  This idea is one that Teresa Royer has shared with us and something she has done for a few years now.  

Also, don't forget that we have some great Hanukkah and Bar & Bat Mitzvah cards that Jill Palethorpe created for us last year.  They sell for $10 each...serving as a donation to TWC.

By separate email you will also receive a tax donation form.  If you keep your receipts, you can attach them to this form at tax time.  Of course anything you are reimbursed for is not considered a donation.

We will let you know the dates for our upcoming Christmas wrap party and hope to see loads of you for that.