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WLALA Volunteers at the Downtown Women's Center for the Holidays 

 By Katherine M. Forster


On December 12, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., WLALA will participate in an evening of volunteer work at the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC).  As many of you know, WLALA has long supported DWC in its mission to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women.  DWC currently provides day center services to over 5000 homeless and low-income women every year in addition to supportive permanent housing for 71 women. 

Volunteers can participate in one of two activities.  First, there will be a “Cooking Club” that will work as a team to prepare a meal in DWC’s kitchen.  DWC will obtain the food at WLALA’s cost, and WLALA volunteers, with the help of a logistical expert from DWC, will cook the meal that evening at DWC.  The meal will be served the following day in the DayCenter to 150 homeless and very low income women.  Second, there will be a concurrent volunteer activity to help DWC make the holidays festive for the Ladies who live in the DWC Residence.  The specific activity is to be determined based on DWC’s needs but might include, for example, packing back packs full of gift items. 

Volunteer opportunities are on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to sign up early to ensure your first choice.  DWC can accommodate approximately 10-12 volunteers in the Cooking Club and the same number for the concurrent volunteer activity.  All volunteers are encouraged to bring drinks and/or desserts to be served at the DayCenter.  In addition to volunteers, donations are welcome to help defray WLALA’s cost for the food.  To RSVP and/or to make a donation, contact the WLALA Office at (213) 892-8982 or

Whether or not you are able to join us on December 12, you can also help DWC this holiday season by making an in-kind donation.  The items most critically in need are the following:


- Produce (fruit & salad greens especially)

- Dried beans

- Whole grains

- Dairy (milk, eggs, cheese, sour cream, butter)

- Silverware



- Bus tokens, bus passes

- Storage bins (3 ft x 2 ft or smaller)

- Liquid Detergent

- Housekeeping Cleaning Spray

- Pots and pans


MADE by DWC (gift shop and café that provides job training for the Ladies)

- Unique household containers (vases, mugs, teacups, etc.)



- Underwear & Bras (all sizes)

- Plus-sized clothing

- Overnight sanitary napkins

- Regular/super tampons

- Shoes sized 9-11 and larger



- Transportation (50-60 passenger busses for outings)

- $5 & $10 Gift cards (Amazon, CVS, Subway, Rite Aid, 99C Store, K-mart, Starbucks, Michael’s)

- Art supplies (specifically paint canvasses - all sizes)

- $25 new gifts (clock radio, cookware set, towel set, etc.)


DWC accepts donations at 442 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA90013, during the DayCenter’s hours: weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please contact DWC directly if you have any questions about in-kind donations at or (213) 680-0600.


Katherine M. Forster, a labor and employment lawyer at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and Past President of WLALA (2008-2009), serves on the board as WLALA’s DWC Liaison.