Thursday, February 26, 2009

HVC Cooks for the Downtown Women's Center

We had a great evening cooking together for the incredible folks at the Downtown Women's Center. Enjoy some photos by clicking here.

Cooking the Meal, from Project Leader Karla:
Thanks so much for everyone's participation in the Friends of Downtown Women's Center cooking night. What a wonderful community-impacting organization! The DWC provides the homeless women in Downtown Los Angeles a place to call home. They provide breakfast, lunch and a late afternoon snack to about 100 women daily. The drop-in center also provides a safe place to take a nap, take a shower, watch a show, read a book, take art classes, change into clean clothes, use a computer, celebrate the holidays and one another's birthdays, interact with a supportive community, and many more services. In addition, there is a permanent housing facility that is home for 45 women. One thing that really impressed me was the on-site health clinic, which provides free medical care for the women once a month, and also free mammograms. According to our tour guide Michelle, last year they were able to catch 15 cases of breast cancer at the early stages, before it spread. 

I was very struck by the entire organization. It was exciting to learn that a new larger facility will be opening in a year's time. I'm very glad the HVC found this community and I think we all walked away wanting to cook another meal and stay involved.

A great big shout out to the chefs: Jennifer, Lisa, Tara, Judy, Melissa, Vivian F, Krista, Margaret and Karla. Thanks to our shoppers: Karla and Vince. Thanks to our meal servers who came back the next day and interacted with the women (see post below): Vivian J, Melissa and Alison. Thanks to all who contributed toward the cost of the meal. The total came to $143.30, and we received a total of $270, so because of everyone's generosity we have enough left over to prepare another meal!! Lots of clothes and cosmetics were also donated by our HVCers and friends -- thanks so much for all that too.

The upbeat energy of our HVC Group, and everyone's willingness to just jump in and get it done with eager cooperation was apparent from the start. We're on our way, creating the change we desire! I'm truly humbled and incredibly inspired! Sincerely, Karla

Serving the Meal the Next Day, from Alison:
We really had a great experience at the DWC. Vivian and I were there at 10:30 (they didn't expect us 'til noon) so Vanessa, the volunteer coordinator, arranged for us to have a tour of the residential facility with one of the residents, named Maria, who was really amazing with all the facts about the place. Truly inspiring, and they are moving to new 'digs' within the next couple of years - a couple of blocks away, in a beautiful old building which is being renovated for them. Maria was full of stories about volunteers bringing programs to the residents, and told a bit about her own background.

The meal we served was FABULOUS - congrats to the cooks! This is a really powerful place. The staff are so sharp, and very caring. There is great dignity here. Every woman that went through the line, I wondered what her story was; all ages, all colors, of women. To everyone who put this volunteer opportunity together -- THANK YOU.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Feb 8th Meeting Report and Action Plan

A very productive meeting held at The Coffee Table, Silverlake attended by Vivian J, Vivian F, Chad, Karla, Tara, Judy, Vince, Jacob, Melissa, Joe. Thanks to everyone for great participation and enthusiasm! 

February 25-26
Project Leader: Karla
Tasks: Cook & Serve a meal for the clients at the Center, bring donations from our clothing drive

We need everyone in the group who is able to give Karla $20 toward buying the food, and to participate in the clothing drive (please click here to see their wish list). We also need a few more people to cook the evening of 2/25, and a few to serve the meal during the day 2/26. An e-mail will be sent to all HVC members with more details and Karla's contact info.

If you'd like to get on our mailing list, please send an e-mail to me (Judy) at the following address (typing it out so we don't get spam): hyperionvolunteers [at] gmail dot com.

(click calendar link in the right sidebar of the blog for more details)
  • March 8 5p: next HVC meeting at Coffee Table, Silverlake
  • March 28 or 29: next service project (family friendly) at LA Family Housing. Project Leader Tara, plus Karla and Vivian J will do a 'location scout' to determine the best project for us since they need so much help, and will report back to us with details at 3/8 meeting.
  • end-of-April Service project will be with Homeboy Industries. Project Leader Melissa will give us details at 3/8 meeting (possibly creating an herb/vegetable garden for the cafe).
  • May 8: Hyperion Bridge Clean-Up and Light-Up project. Project Leader: Joe.
  • May 9 service project (family friendly): participate in Folar LA River Clean-Up
  • June 27 service project (family friendly): volunteer at Shane's Inspiration play date at their Griffith Park playground. Project Leader: Judy.
(please report updates/progress to Judy, and she will update the blog)
  • everyone: $20 and clothing drive donations to Karla before 2/25, a few more volunteers needed for cooking & serving (enlist your friends)
  • everyone: any input on mission statement wording e-mail to Karla or Judy
  • Tara: organizing March service project
  • Tara/Karla/Vivian J: LA Family Housing location scout 3/8
  • Melissa: more details on April service project at Homeboy Industries/Homegirl Cafe, pricing for t-shirts thru Homeboy Industries
  • Judy: looking into Trash-Out donations, designing logo, organizing June service project, getting out the word to other neighborhood bloggers about our blog, expanding blog access to other HVCers
  • Vivian F/Judy: talk to Folar about our bridge project in May
  • Joe: talk to Jullian regarding any city support (ie, trashbags & trashbag pickup) for 5/8 bridge cleanup
  • Karla: looking into service opportunities at Childrens Hospital
Thanks for all your hard work and dedication! -- Judy

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monthly HVC Meeting: Sunday Feb 8th, 5pm

Join us at The Coffee Table in Silverlake for our monthly planning meeting. 
Please order a drink or some food and join us on the back patio. 
The agenda includes:
  • Intro & Report from Jan 31 Service Project (Judy)
  • February Service Project Details & Sign-Up (Karla)
  • March (Tara) & April (Melissa) Service Project Updates
  • Future Service Project Brainstorm & Assignments (Judy)
  • Hyperion Bridge Update (Joe)
  • HVC Mission Statement / Logo / Blog (Karla/Judy)
  • Further Issue Brainstorming (Judy)
A note: I'm going to try to attend one of the Obama-sponsored Economic Recovery house meetings that weekend too. Find out more and sign up to attend one at the Obama/Organizing for America website.

See you on the 8th! -- Judy