Thursday, October 27, 2011
As I begin to shape my weeks in a way that will include experiences other than staring at a blank word document and wishing I could or would write something, I have been doing a couple of different volunteer jobs. Today I sorted clothing donations at the DWC. A mountain of clothes. More clothes from Ann Taylor Loft than the inventory of an actual Ann Taylor Loft store. Things in such pristine condition that they may have actually been donated by the store. And if not, there's someone out there with a serious shopping addiction who just cleaned out her closet.
Los Angeles amazes me in this way. Such plenty. Such poverty. Three times a week, the women who patronize the DWC day center (these are the women who drop in for meals and showers and other care, but don't live there) get to "shop." The clothing, given the once over by volunteers like me in order to eliminate things too dirty or tattered, is sorted into piles of small, medium, large, and extra large before the women have at it. I haven't seen this in action yet, but today both residents and day center women chose Halloween costumes from the items we pulled from the giant pile and laid out on tables in the conference room. If you're downtown frequenting some of the meaner streets in the City of Angels, look for boas and flapper headdresses, for a genie, an airline stewardess, a church lady, a magician, a mannequin, a convict, and a doctor. Look for women who, once upon a time, probably had a place to call home just like you and me.
photo credit: dallas.about.com