Truth be told, I likely hankered for clothes at Christmas as much as my 20-year-younger brother hankered for my gift to him at Christmas: books.  I even caught his and his even younger sister’s complaint that “all you get from Jesse is…blah, blah, blah.” Well, I was in college then and had learned the staying power of books over that of a plastic Prince Valiant sword—hey, light sabers weren’t yet on the horizon. And by the time I understood what Rotary is—and this just recently—I’d learned the value of clothes for Xmas or, if you’re poor, any other time of year.
So, at the request of Ruth Schwartz, Executive Director of Shelter Partnership, Inc., on a brisk, December 3rd morning about ten Downtown LA Rotarians joined about 20 folks from other organizations to re-pack huge bins of brand new manufacturers' overruns and surplus clothing into manageable boxes destined for needy people throughout Los Angeles. Rotarian’s tinny-boppers even got into the act by taping boxes together and counting the articles deposited within. It was three hours of pretty intense work well organized and supervised by Ms Schwartz and her staff who kept the forklifts of new clothes coming as we sorted, cut off labels and gently folded men’s, women’s and children’s gifts that I’m confident will prove more useful than even a--finally invented, thank goodness-- plastic light saber and as cherished as a worn copy of Oliver Twist.



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