‘Please Donate,’ Kiwanis appeal made

April 23, 2009|By Carol Cormaci

Those who have had the time to keep abreast of the news know that donations to charitable organizations are on the decline during this prolonged economic crises.

The shelves of food pantries for people in need are looking a bit like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and the ranks of the homeless seeking shelter are growing.

La Cañada’s churches, schools, service organizations, youth groups, social clubs and individuals working independently have a long history of reaching out to help others near and far. Close to home in very recent days, it’s been heartening to see everyone do what they can to help the businesses impacted by the April 1 runaway crash here.


And so, it wasn’t any great surprise to me to open an e-mail this week from Diane DellaValle, immediate past president of Kiwanis Club of La Cañada (the group that meets at noon every Wednesday), alerting her friends to the fact the organization is staging a food and clothing drive that will end May 9. Items collected will be delivered to the 95-year-old Midnight Mission Homeless Shelter in downtown Los Angeles.

There was something in Diane’s message that caught my eye: “One of our members actually knows a mother and her children who have become homeless and are living in the Mission.”

The homeless are not faceless. They never were. Nonetheless, although I’ve heard from another friend of mine that a couple of former residents of our own, richly blessed town have been seen living on the streets, it’s never been really personal to me because I wasn’t acquainted with them. I’ve never attached a face of someone I know to the word “homeless.”

Should I be more willing to give to the Midnight Mission if someone known by the friend of a friend is seeking its services? No, I should be making whatever donations I can to worthwhile causes whether or not I know the end recipients of my generosity.

But still, learning that someone Diane knows has a personal relationship with a homeless mother and her children was especially compelling to me.

I asked Diane for a little more information about the effort. She obliged, informing me via another e-mail that this drive has since become a joint project with La Cañada Kiwanis AM (the early risers who meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays).

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles