Saturday, October 6, 2018

General Meeting: October 4, 2018``

I'm just dusting this old blog off for one last entry before we launch our new newsletter in the next week. It's been a good run, but TWC is moving forward with a better way to communicate with volunteers and those interested in our organization. We'll have more frequent postings for our volunteer base and perhaps a quarterly newsletter for friends of TWC.

We had a great meeting at Teresa's beautiful home on Thursday evening with a good turn-out. As always the food and company were unbeatable. Lorna Bank kindly took notes as our official note-taker, Nancy Hanson, is traveling just now.  For a quick recap of our meeting, see below.

1. Lorna set up our beautiful general greeting cards for sale ($5 to members!) and sales were brisk. Many thanks to Lorna, Nancy Hanson, Sue Forbes and Judith Haut for working so hard on this project and to our printing angel, Noelle Berman, who does all our printing on vellum at her office.

2.  Teresa thanked all of you who work so tirelessly for this little charity. You do make a difference and there are so many ways to help.

3.  Debra Silbar & Karla Morrison have worked on our 2018 Challenge Grant Campaign which will go live shortly. Details on this will be in our new newsletter but donations are coming in and we already have over $10,000 pledged. Bridge housing, as opposed to transitional housing, has increased our workload. Families no longer stay for two years, but are moved into permanent housing after three to six months. It's why we have to fundraise!

Bonnie Graves has done a fair amount of fundraising and has offered her help to the group. Bonnie and her family have raised $$'s for TWC in so many ways from popcorn and wine sales at movie nights to selling ice-cream sandwiches on the boulevard!

Teresa discussed multi-level marketing...i.e., send our your request for donations to everyone. TWC has special appeal to many because we have no overhead.  She stressed that you will not get anything if you do not ask. Just let people know what we elevator pitches. Janaki did just that, last year, and a professional group she belongs to chose TWC as one of their donor charities and one of her sub-contractors, who had been homeless for a while when young, sent us a check for $1,000. So generous.

4.  We also discussed the difficulties of actually being awarded financial grants. Much work goes into writing these grants but the awards frequently go to larger charities. It was discussed that perhaps we might have more luck in securing actual donations of stuff. Wendy Skolfield is going to be our go-to gal for investigating possible corporate donations of the things TWC most needs on a regular basis and Bruce Royer is going to approach Walmart on our behalf.

4.  Leslie Carlson shared the news that Pine Tree Circle has now sold. If the new owners won't allow us to keep the Bin in that location, Leslie has offered another bin, free of charge, down at the Brewery. Many thanks to the Carlsons for all the good years we've been able to have a presence at Pine Tree Circle.

5.  On a positive note, communications between Westwood (via Nicholas) and Venice (via Rachel) are at an all-time high which really makes our work so much easier.

6.  We will again take care of the children at Venice this Christmas and I will approach Jill Palethorpe, with hopes that she will help us with our interactive gift giving list. I've sent an email to Rachel in Venice and she will get the list to me later this month. Also, it would be great if we could again give each family at the Bessie Pregerson Child Development Center a $25 Target gift card. Patty Colvig is going to approach Topanga Elementary regarding a non-perishable food drive. Linda Handler Kort always does this with her little kindergarten students and it would be great if we could get it going again with the fourth graders who used to have an active gives-back program.

7.  Adrian Wright offered to write any articles that we'd like for the Messenger and perhaps other Topanga websites.

8.  Randi Gottlieb, who heads up the perishable committee, noted that her small group of volunteers is rarely called upon any more to provide perishables. That's because our generous volunteers often jump in and say they'll get them...and that makes me happy because those perishable committee gals were doing a lot of shopping and were spending an awful lot of money (rarely asking for reimbursement). Teresa said she'd sent out a sample 'list' to volunteers of items that are good to include if they're doing a perishable shop.

9. Wendy Skolfield thanked Cynthia Scott for bringing fresh flowers to the set-ups. They make such a difference and it's so good of Cynthia to take time off work to deliver and arrange them!

10.  Teresa is making Patty Colvig's job of purchasing non-perishables much easier by doing an inventory at the bin every couple of weeks and then sending Patty info on shortfalls. Teresa also does this for all non-food items we need as well.

11.  Teresa formally thanked Karen Sherwood, on behalf of TWC, for all her invaluable work over the years from co-chairing with me for so long to then serving on our Advisory Board. Karen is stepping down from the Board but is still an active volunteer. Thank you, Karen xo.

12.  And finally...our work continues. We have a set-up this Monday and one in Venice on Friday. If you've not been to Venice yet and would like to help, drop me a line.

And keep your eyes open for our new newsletter! It's going to be light on words (bet you're happy about that!) and heavy on pictures!! If you have a story or idea that you would like included in the newsletter, let us know!