Sunday, November 02, 2008

Helping Families

I planned a yard sale for today seeing as the weather was not as warm here in Los Angeles, making it easier to endure being outside on a Saturday morning and afternoon. Turns out it rained here and there, so who says it never rains in Southern California? My 13 yr old has had some growth spurts, which has resulted in some jeans never being worn and others very gently used.

Due to my taking prednisone some of my jeans no longer fit me and I have not been able to afford to continue with my gym membership the past year. My 12 yr old is now at a Middle School that has a uniform policy. Many of the clothes in his closet had not been worn and have no need to be there.

I bought many tops that I changed my mind on, never even worn them and both boys have these thick large jackets that seem to be for those outside in the snow. We got this from an organization that used to adopt them for the holidays. It was nice to have people in a group wanting to help us out. I would get a phone call in mid October asking for a list and I would mention clothing and sizes along with issues my sons have - like no button down shirts, sweaters or turtlenecks. We never really received the right clothing. I much prefer a gift card so that we can get the clothing that suits them best.

Instead of trying to post signs about a yard sale and get a listing up on craigslist I would just rather give the stuff away. For awhile now I have been placing clothing and shoes in the yellow bins marked Planet Aid. One day driving home I saw a truck picking up bags and bags of stuff from the container at the gas station down the street. In the past I have called for pickups from Salvation Army. But they too place all the items in the stores for people to buy. I realize that sorting these items are jobs for those with disabilities, but I really just want to find a shelter or group home and see if they could use clothing, etc.

Many years ago I did just that and cannot remember how I found them - this was before I had a computer too. I have lots of extra samples of health and beauty aides that would benefit single moms and their kids. I am in Los Angeles and do not want to drive to areas that I am not familiar with or are dangerous.

Last year at this time I had adopted many families through Wish Upon A Hero and CafeMom and had six boxes that I filled with items I bought online with my monthly Amazon certificate and from Avon and Walgreens. It took a lot of time, but was fun in the process. I do not have the time or money to mail packages and I got tired of people contacting me from these sites for more things.

This year I have added expenses of a car loan, higher auto insurance premium and a rental increase that equals almost $400. I think I will try calling 211 and 311. These are numbers for LA City and LA County. Last year we also received vouchers to Toys R Us from the LAPD. Someone in our neighborhood added our name to a list. The officers delivered them to us and we were able to go to the front of the line to get inside and pick out a DVD and videogame. At first we were told they were $50 for each kid, but ended up being $40 each. We had only a few days notice and had to be there very early, leaving the house at 6 AM.

Please do share some ideas on how I can get these jeans, pants, tops and jackets to families that can use them now. I will be posting to sell some of the other items on craigslist.


tlessick said...

Try the Department of Social Services. They take in items that other families can use. Also, you can check with your church.

Lisa @ Serah's said...

I'm not sure of any other alternatives. I usually do the Salvation Army as well. I'm not too far from you...I'm in SoCal too.