[Hpn] Donations Help The Homeless

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sat, 27 Aug 2005 08:13:57 -0400



      Emblem Club donations help homeless at shelter

      By Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell , Staff Writer

      WHITTIER -- - It felt like Christmas in August at the Whittier Area
First Day Coalition on Friday as residents of the facility gleefully sorted
through recently donated boxes of new underwear, socks, used clothing and
      "Look at these big socks,' said Donna Collins, an eight-month resident
of the Whittier homeless shelter. "They go to someone with really big feet.

      Carol McCracken, president of Whittier Emblem Club 67, came up with
the idea to donate the needed items to First Day earlier this year.

      "I just figure that everyone needs underwear, and I told my members,
when you are in Penney's to look for men's and women's underwear in mixed
sizes, and they did,' she said.

      In total, her members came through with about 250 pairs of underwear
and socks as well as shoes and used clothing for homeless people staying at
the shelter to wear on job interviews.

      McCracken said she will continue collecting underwear and socks until
the end of the year.

      "I plan to keep giving back to an organization that is doing so much
good in the community,' she said.

      First Day officials said they appreciated the generous donation.

      "Underwear and socks are one of the most difficult things to get,
because people don't donate old or used ones,' said Ted Knoll, executive
director of the organization.

      "This is great that this group has taken an interest in the lives of
the less fortunate.'

      First Day offers short-term emergency transitional housing with
on-site supportive services to 45 individuals.

      Services include an on-site health clinic, mental-health services,
meals, education and employment assistance.

      Other needs are for mentors for the residents, personal hygiene items
and a storage shed.

      "Even the small things we get are a gift because we don't have much,'
said Maria Alcala, an eight-month resident of First Day. "I came in here
with two bags.'

      Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028,
or by e- mail at  debbie.pfeiffer@sgvn.com .