Downtown Women's Center Donation Drive + Meal Service
We’ll be setting up and serving lunch and smiles to women affected by poverty and homelessness at LA’s Downtown Women’s Center.
DONATION DRIVE DETAILS
Your well-loved items can provide pathways to opportunity for the women of DWC. A fresh change of clothes. A healthy meal. An object to re-purpose for sale at MADE by DWC. All donations benefit the women of the Center and directly support our services and programs.
DWC welcomes your high-quality, gently used items, and in keeping with our mission of treating all women with respect and dignity, we ask that all donations are clean and, if used, in good condition. DWC's Wishlist
Years ago my girlfriends and I would get together at my house to cook and prepare meals for the Downtown Women’s Center that we served the following day. We loved it as an opportunity to both hang out, and participate in a rewarding volunteer experience. Then life happened and work, kids, etc. took precedent, and I dropped the ball on organizing more DWC events. When my volunteer month came up for ResisterhoodLA it was the perfect chance to gather friends to revisit something that had once had a meaningful place in my heart.
It was important to my husband Greg and I to serve the quality of food that we make for our friends at home, as well as our clients in our catering business. We didn’t want to cut corners on recipes or ingredients as our guests at DWC deserve the very best. We made roast chicken with salsa verde and assortment of seasonal salads and sides.
Our volunteers divided and conquered. The day before our event, a team prepped the food: peeling, chopping and packing all of the ingredients. A lot of love went into the chopped salad for our snack packs! During kitchen prep, I caught up with friends that I haven’t seen in months. This was such a great alternative to meeting for drinks, with all of the social perks! It was a legit fun activity. This is one of the beauties of ResisterhoodLA – it is as much about bringing people together, as it is about giving back.
The next day, volunteers gathered at the Downtown Women’s Center to set up lunch and assemble the snack packs. Each volunteer was in charge of a different lunch dish and served over 100 women as they walked down our buffet line.
Mary Kenny was in charge of serving the roasted carrots with spiced yogurt and green harissa; the sauces were served as options on the side. Our guests had strong opinions and preferences about their condiment selections, as is their right. It would be easy to assume that people in a challenging moment would simply take what was handed to them. However, their individual needs, ranging from vegetarianism to an intolerance to spice, remain true in hard times. In this tiny example, we are reminded that women in need still think and feel and have needs that are worthy of our attention to detail and care.
For our lunch, we served dishes straight from our catering menu. However, if menu planning isn’t your thing, the DWC has sample menus with recipes and grocery lists. Groups can even pitch in money and have the DWC grocery shop for you, so you simply show up to prep and serve a meal. Also, you have the option of preparing all food on-site on the day of service in the DWC’s beautiful kitchen. We would switch to this option next time.
In a time of “busy, busy, busy” it’s easy to let to-do lists and work take center stage in one’s life – at least I know that’s a big struggle for me personally. This experience was a great reminder that it’s important to pause and make time to A.) spend time with friends and B.) give back to our communities in meaningful ways.
To organize your own Meal Service contact DWC via their site: http://www.downtownwomenscenter.org/volunteer
Contributed by Annie Campbell, chef, party planner and mother.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN WOMEN'S CENTER
DWC’s mission is to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women. more info: http://www.downtownwomenscenter.org/