Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Four Move-Ins in One Week...no problem!

Last week was busy...four move-ins; two in Venice and two at Westwood. None of them were huge, but all required lots of forethought. Fortunately, Teresa keeps a running inventory of just what's in the bin. Occasionally we run low, but it's rare and this is where the generosity of our donors and volunteers is most apparent. If non-perishables run a little low, Teresa gets a list to Patty Colvig, and out she goes, restocking our bin. Because of the goodness of your hearts and your generous spirits, we are able to purchase what we need and when we need it.

And speaking of generosity of our volunteers, Linda Kort dropped me a line last night saying she and her hubs had a housewarming party and instead of asking for anything for themselves, they requested canned food or kitchen utensils. Here's the haul!

The 'haul' from Linda Kort's Open House!

Every move-in has a story and while they aren't always shared with us, be assured that their path to housing has been long and difficult. Imagine trying to keep all your paperwork in one place, easily accessible, when you don't have a room to call your own. Imagine making all the right choices when life is throwing challenges at you that few of us have experienced or will ever experience. And then think of the joy these families must experience when they move in. Clean, fresh bedding and bath items, a kitchen filled with everything you need to create a meal...perishable and non-perishable food, drawers filled with everything including new pots and pans, cutlery, measuring cups and spoons, tea towels and cleaning supplies.

We are always in need of personal care items, especially for moms. When you're out shopping, please consider picking up some tampax or sanitary napkins for the moms and teens. These products are so expensive.

What follows are photos in no particular order of some of the work we did last week.

This flat at Westwood had a brand new kitchen
because of flood damage

It all starts with bags and confusion but quickly
sorts itself out!

Full fridges. Thank you, Lizzie!! Can you imagine
how great it feels not having to go grocery
shopping after the exhaustion of a move.
We like to fill the cupboards as well!

Bathroom ready for new move-in to the TLC
in Venice

Bunkbeds...not much fun to make but kids love them!

Mom & kids share a bedroom at the TLC
in Venice. Sometimes it gets crowded but still
much better than a shelter or a relative's couch or
sleeping rough.

At Westwood, some of the units are small. This is a one bedroom
and Mom and Baby are sharing. Nice robe for Mom.

Venice or Westwood, we always include a welcome card
made even more special with a Target gift card.

So good for these families to have new
personal care products.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Xmas Giving and First Move In of 2019

Topanga Women's Circle volunteers had a well-deserved break over the holidays and it felt good. Between preparing the donation bags for each child at the Bessie Pregerson Child Development Center at Westwood, all made possible by the generosity of Nancy and Charlie Hanson and The Linus Project, and providing a full Christmas for the children resident at Venice Community Housing's Transitional Living Center, we were ready for a some TWC downtime.

Here are a few photos from the Venice delivery. A good turn-out of TWC elves wrapped everything beautifully and through the generosity of TWC volunteers who gave so generously to these needy children and Jill Palethorpe who yet again prepared the interactive, online gift giving list of wants and needs for these kids, we were able to create a magical holiday for these families who have suffered so many hardships.
Car loaded and ready for delivery

Packed car!

Safely delivered to the Community Room at the TLC. Each mom took her child's sack
up to their room so the gifts were opened privately.

And now our first move-in of 2019. Just a small family...mom, dad and baby but life will feel a whole lot more comfortable for them now that they are out of the shelter and into their new home. The only unit available for this family was a one-bedroom unit and when we arrived at the apartment, the crib and bed were all crammed into that small room. I think we can all remember that wonderful moment when baby finally went to bed and as exhausted parents we'd collapse on the couch. With that in mind, and only one bedroom, I asked Anthony and Nicholas (who work at Westwood), if they'd set-up the parents' bed in the living room and have the crib in the little bedroom. They agreed but the bed wasn't fully assembled until after we left which is why it isn't 'dressed.'

Many thanks to Lizzie Kipner for filling the fridge for this family, to Cynthia Scott for the lovely flowers, to Wendy Skolfield for going shopping for diapers, etc., to Teresa and Emma who gathered everything together for this family and to Teresa, Lizzie & Isabel Freeman who joined me in creating a comfortable little home for these new folks.

Baby's bedroom

Large bathroom

Jolly shower curtain

Lovely Arbonne products from Margaret French Isaac

Had to rearrange the living room to accommodate the bed

Dining room table with lovely flowers courtesy of Cynthia Scott
and welcome card including a gift card for Target

Anthony, always cheerful and helpful with my fabulous co-chair Teresa Royer on the
right and the lovely Lizzie Kipner on the left.

A full fridge. Thank you Lizzie!

Donations of table cloths really make these scarred
and well-used tables far more attractive!
Anthony texted me this picture of the bed in the
living room. It will give the parents and the
baby a little privacy at night. Needs must...