How we created a home for a formerly homeless Veteran.
The notice arrived on Thursday. “We have a mom, who is a veteran, and her 12-year-old daughter moving in Tuesday. Who can help with this set up and who can bring perishables?” This is our call to action for volunteers to help create a home.
Our first step Is to collect all the items needed from our storage bin and we call that ‘pulling.’ There is a check list that volunteer pullers follow to help organize what is needed. Every family and every set-up is a little different. Taken into account are various directives including family size (and ages of children) and apartment size.
Miraculously, the apartments seem to come together as if some angel from a design show waved her magic wand. We accept donors’ gently used castoffs and pair them with brand new items purchased through monetary donations.
Next we meet at either the Westwood Transitional Village or the Transitional Living Center in Venice. This particular set-up used the dishes that Melissa S contributed as she’d remarried and did not need two sets. Wendy S meets us with perishable groceries so the mom and daughter had no need to go to the grocery store for a few days. Cynthia S leaves her job at UCLA to stop by with fresh flowers for the table. Piper N hangs the shower curtains, arranges the fresh, new towels and makes the bathroom look beautiful. LindaN stocks the cupboards with canned goods and other essential kitchen items, and we can all imagine how happy the family is to find a fully stocked kitchen.
Everything is now ready for the mom and daughter to move in. We look around and realize that there are no design angels with magic wands here, only hard-working volunteers who want to help homeless people start a new life.