The Volunteer Connection

The Friends Bookstore saw a lot of activity this past holiday season, thanks to holiday shoppers and to patrons bringing books to keep our shelves well stocked. And therein lie several heartwarming tales.

Ethel Shares Holiday Cheer

Bookstore volunteer Ethel Margolin really connected with some of our regular patrons. See the full story in Ethel's article below.

Holiday Community Service

Among patrons acquiring stocking-stuffers, Harriet Strauss caught sight of a rather remarkable shopper. In early December, 12-year-old Jeffrey Rudolph came in with his mom, Marilyn, to do his annual community service. “Jeffrey takes all the large paperback books we have,” Harriet reports, “this time over 40 books, and he pays for them with his own money. He then distributes the books to patients at eight West and North Valley hospitals.”

All our volunteers love to hear about the travels of your, the community's, donated books. If you have any stories about who is purchasing them and where they are going, please let us know. We're also fascinated by the interaction between Bookstore volunteers and patrons. It's the spice that enlivens a worthwhile task. Please share your experiences so all Friends members can savor them. E-mail us or drop a note in the suggestion box.

Elaine Corman
Harriet Strauss
Bookstore Volunteer Co-Coordinators

Sharing Holiday Cheer

Unlike the author who wrote about people he will meet in heaven, I want to write about the people I meet in my little slice of heaven right here in the Friends Bookstore.

Michael Barlow, his wife, Rowena, and their children, Nathaniel (11) and Hannah (6), frequently drop in on Thursday afternoons when I'm minding the store. Michael is studying for the ministry and, with Rowena, once led a mission to Turkey. This past holiday season, we got to talking about religious traditions, and I invited the whole family to join me for the first night of the 8-day Chanukah celebration—along with Eddy Rostamni, a single father of three who often brings Shannon (11), Jasmin (9), and A Jay (6) into the Bookstore.

A Jay with Ethel, sharing tradition

When they had all arrived at my home, I began the festivities by reading the story of the Miracle of the Lights, which recalls the Macabee's retaking Jerusalem and rededicating the temple with a lamp that burned for 8 days on oil barely sufficient for one. It's a good story, and I had a very captivated audience. Then we lit the shamash (sexton) candle and used it to light the first night's candle, which is placed in a menorah—a candelabrum with spaces for eight candles, plus one for the shamash candle. Traditionally, each succeeding night another candle is added until the eight days have passed, but since we had five children and only one night, I brought out both of my menorahs so that each child could be shamash. (Don't do the math. It won't work. It's the principle of everyone lighting candles that counts.)

After the ceremony, we all exchanged gifts and feasted. The traditional fare for this holiday is latkes (potato pancakes) with sour cream and applesauce. It was an hour in which the children would be hungry, however, so to everyone's delight, I started off with vegetarian chili—then whipped up a batch of latkes. Of course, ice cream, cookies, and cake followed.

The evening culminated with a game of dreidel, which is played by spinning a top with four flat sides. A Hebrew letter on each side determines what happens when the top stops spinning. Depending upon which letter it falls on, you take the entire pot, some of the pot, return all you have, or just pass. Our players used walnuts, almonds, and peanuts for making bets, and since I'd already taught Nathaniel the game, I put him in charge. You could hear the shrieks of laughter as all the youngsters learned and then played for a long time.

Then it was time for my lovely guests to depart. A wonderful time was held for all of us!

Stay tuned. There are more stories from my little slice of heaven and the people I've met.

Ethel B. Margolin, Bookstore Volunteer


Major Volunteer Opportunity

Adult Literacy Tutors Needed

To volunteer as a tutor, you have to
1) be able to make a 6-month commitment to tutor 2-3 hours a week,
2) make an appointment to be interviewed by an area coordinator, and
3) complete a Tutor Training course.

There is now a Literacy Center in Platt Branch, with a training session scheduled for May 19. To make an appointment, call Susan Casmier, Literacy Center Coordinator, at (213) 623-4078, extension 16590.

Readers Needed

Our GAB program needs a few more voices to read to children 2 hours a week (or every other week). Contact Children's Librarian Barbara Mattison at (818) 340-9386.

Platt Branch Volunteers—2006

Barbara Abromovitch
Pat Backes
Becky Baker
Geoffrey Ball
Howard Benjamin
Ed Berger
Mildred Berger
Pam Bieber
Phil Binderman
Judy Boylan
Ruth Bromund
Warren Bromund
Dorothy Butler
Elaine Corman
Kathy Cromar
Tim Culhane
Frona DeCovnick
Stan DeCovnick
Dan Durbin
Lynn Durbin
Judy Eichenbaum
Muriel Eiduson
Sid Eiduson
Vivian Estabrook
Faye Faraldo
Donna Fellman
Caryl Frankle
Christian Frear

Dorothy Gillmann
Jesse Goldbaum
Sharon Gugler
Annie Haas
Ted Haas
Susan Haddox
Ellie Haney
Terry Haney
Therese Hearn
Walter Higgins
Shirley Hirshfeld
Sally Holtz
Darlene Jackson
Trudi Jolicoeur
Pearl Kalechstein
Leatha King
Willa Kurtz
James Lamog
Richard Lee
Martha MacIver
Freya Maneki
Ethel Margolin
Ruth Mehlworm
CeCe Mestman
Charlene Montante
Judie Mount
Jack O'Connell
Eileen O'Neill
David Perrell

Mary Ann Ostrom
Pat Peterson
Sterling Rachootin
John Reeve
Nancy Reeve
Darris Reilly
Peggy Richman
Carol Roseman
Paula Russo
Sue Scheiner
Lin Schonberger
Don Schuster
Sharon Schuster
Shel Schuster
Harriet Segurson
Sarae Shenkin
Harriet Strauss
John Strickland
Sue Strickland
Alex Wagner
Joan Wagner
Michelle Watts
Hajime Yamada
Sharon Yoon
Margaret Young
Yvonne Zellmer
Jackie Zev
Mark Zev

Our sincere and deep appreciation to the wonderful volunteers who worked during 2006.

The Friends of Platt Library Board    Lynn Light, Senior Librarian, and Staff

The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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