Friday, March 24, 2006

Help Out for Mother's Day

Okay, I think you know that I would normally not do something like this. But due to my visit to the Union Rescue Mission last week, I received a thank you note with a flyer announcing the Mission's Pre-Mother's Day Children's Gift Boutique, and I want to encourage whoever is moved to do so to participate. Here's the deal (and keep in mind, any typos are solely mine, as I am retyping from the flyer):
On May 11, 2006, we will again host a pre-Mother's Day Children's Gift Boutique, where children from the community of working poor and homeless that we serve can shop, free of charge, for new gifts for their Moms. While the youngsters are shopping, their Moms will be abe to watch a movie in our chapel, which we will dress up just like a theatre. Your tax-deductible donation of any of the following items would be most gratefully received:

* Suggested New Gifts & Gift Sets *

Pajama Sets /Slippers / Facial & Hand Towel Sets / Perfume & Cologne / Lipstick / Eye Make-up / Face Make-up / Body Lotions / Powder / Soap / Shower Gels / Face Cream, Cleansers, Facial Products / Shampoo / Hair Conditioner / Styling Gel Products / Hair Brushes & Combs / New Jewelry / Wallets / Watches / Datebooks / Scarves

We would like to provide for at least 1,000 gift bags / multiple items.

We can pick up locally, or if you would like to ship or drop off products, please address them to: Debbie Smith, Gifts in Kind Department, Union Rescue Mission, 545 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. For drop-offs, our dock is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, but special arrangements can be made for this event.

Our target date for product roundup is May 1, 2006. Thank you for helping mothers and their children feel beautiful, loved, appreciated and special.

Please contact Debbie at (213) 673-4882 if you have any questions.
Here's the report on last year's sale. Women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Now, of course, I think it's awful that anybody is homeless. But it really twists my heart to think of little kids with nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, surving in one of the scariest areas of our city, and filled with despair and fear every day.

If you are not in the Los Angeles area and would like to help out somewhere closer to your home, Stand Up for Kids is a national program to help homeless children. World Vision takes it global, but also has programs to assist homeless kids in the U.S. My Friend's Place is an L.A.-based non-profit which focuses solely on assisting homeless youth, and they share some pretty scary statistics, among them this: there are an estimated 7,551 homeless families in shelters or on the streets on any one night in Los Angeles.

That is pretty incredible, and unbelievably sad. But not surprising, considering the high cost of living in Los Angeles, particularly housing costs. What's really sad is that some of these people are the working poor -- which means they actually have jobs but their jobs don't pay enough to enable them to pay rent.

Since this is the Internet and we are all (relatively) anonymous, you don't have to feel obligated to contribute. But feel free to pass this info on to anyone you think might be interested -- and thanks for reading.

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