Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Year end request for donations.

For better or worse, Wonder Valley is gaining in notoriety. AirBNB now lists 117 vacation rentals in Wonder Valley, and more and more people are coming here for the growing music scene, and to simply enjoy the beauty of the desert. Who can blame them?

Local authors Catherine Connor and Bill Hillyard discuss Hillyard's book
Welcome to Wonder Valley.
Despite these changes, persistent poverty remains a reality in Wonder Valley. Citi-data, an information aggregator, reports the annual median income for a two-person household in Wonder Valley at $16, 379. The same number for residents of nearby Twentynine Palms is 2.5 times that number at $40,888. (1) It is not unusual to find people living here who lack electricity, water, or proper sanitation.

The Friends of Wonder Valley, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded on July 5, 2018, by a group of local volunteers, “...to enhance the lives of the people in Wonder Valley by providing programs that engage residents and build community, including arts, music, theater, education, food, health, recreation, and others as need arises and our capacity increases.”

How do we do this? In many, many ways.

The local community center hosts two monthly food giveaways serving more than 100 families a month. FOWV supplies the boxes, the tape, the carts, the printing and promotion, along with many volunteers to make sure the food giveaways serve as many people as possible, while maintaining the dignity of those who participate.

All packed up the day before -- for the USDA Distribution
Serving 100 or more families

Setting up for the Salvation Army shopping-style distribution.
People tell us how the distributions really help with their food budgets.
In addition to the food distributions we support local writers and artists. A successful Artist of the Month program featured local artists Chris Carraher, Joe Barrett, Suzanne Ross, Robert Rowell, and Lisa Manifold. We hope to resume this program in the coming year. In the last year we’ve sponsored readings for local authors Ruth Nolan, Ken Layne, Catherine Connor, and William Hillyard.

Mock up of the Simi Dabah sculpture installed at the WVCC.
Scheduled for first quarter 2020.
Most of our events take place at the Wonder Valley Community Center, but early next year we expect to expand into an additional space. This will allow us a private meeting room. People in the community have expressed a desire for meditation classes, and a caregiver support group, which could find a home in the meeting room. The added space will increase our overhead, but we are certain it will be worth it for the community.

If you have enjoyed your time in Wonder Valley, please consider giving back to the community by supporting the Friends of Wonder Valley.

THREE WAYS TO GIVE
  1. Go to: https://www.friendsofwondervalley.org/ and click on the DONATE button in the right hand column.
  2. Write a check payable to:
    Friends of Wonder ValleyPO Box 1704, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277.
  3. Or, if you would like to give anonymously, please go to: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/3520421
If you provide us with your address, we’ll send you a bumper sticker of the Dale Basin Field Club.

If you have already given to Friends of Wonder Valley, or are signed up to give monthly, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support. If you have not already given, please join us in making Wonder Valley a great place for everyone.

Have a wonderful New Year and decade!

Teresa Sitz
Secretary
Friends of Wonder Valley
  1. Median household income in 2016:
    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Wonder-Valley-Twentynine-Palms-CA.html

Sunday, December 1, 2019

William Hillyards Book Event.

Catherine Connor interviews 
Bill Hillyard on his new book.
The Friends of Wonder Valley sponsored a book event with local author William Hillyard on Saturday, November 30. Close to 60 people crowded the Wonder Valley Community Center to hear Bill read from his book Welcome to Wonder Valley. Catherine Connor, another local author, interviewed Bill.

Catherine Connor, co-author of The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World, spoke on her book last November, at an event also sponsored by the FOWV.

Local artist Ven Voicy designed the book cover and a coupon good for one (1) natty ice at The Palms. Hillyard's book was crowd funded. Everyone who gave a any level was promised a Natural Ice at our local watering hole.

The television set was left for a neighbor who said he needed one, though
he didn't have electricity to run it.
One of the goals of the Friends of Wonder Valley is to support authors and artists in Wonder Valley.



Second Annual Wonder Valley Turkey Giveaway!

Ken Sitz hands a turkey to local 
Wally Currie, a volunteer with
Food for Life in 29 Palms.
The Friends of Wonder Valley teamed up this year with Lori Cosgriff and the Interact Club at Twentynine Palms High School to purchase holiday turkeys for Wonder Valley residents. The mood was festive at the Wonder Valley Community Center on the afternoon of November 23 as the Second Annual Turkey Giveaway began.

Local musicians Miri Hunter and Thom Merrick, of Hunter and the Wick'd, played for the crowd. Miri is a volunteer with at the food distributions. Other volunteers included Ken and Teresa Sitz, Stewart West, Michael Brown, Steve Reyes, Gary Tufel, Karen Molina, and our local anthropologist Florrie Holloway.

We were pleased to again donate eight turkeys to Food for Life for their community Thanksgiving dinner.

Plans are in the works to start a small emergency food program to help span the time between food distributions. Participants in the turkey giveaway were asked to fill out a form which will provide us with information we need to put the emergency food program together.

WVCC volunteer Miri Hunter, of Hunter and the Wick'd,
plays for the crowd at the FOWV Turkey Giveaway.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Anonymous Giving

If you would like to donate ANONYMOUSLY to the Friends of Wonder Valley you can do so at PayPal's Giving Fund at the link below:

paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/3520421

It is our promise that we will not divulge who gives to the FOWV, AND more importantly who DOES NOT give. This is a small town and we want everyone to give what they want, or even not give.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Free movies in Luckie Park.

Steve Reyes, our Wonder Valley MAC Delegate, donated funds to the Friends of Wonder Valley to be used to support free summer movies in Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms.

We were a day or two late with our donation, so the FOWV logo didn't make it on the poster. Go to the City of Twentynine Palms movie page to download the poster and schedule.

SHOWINGS
• June 20 ~ Bumblebee (PG13)
• June 27 ~ Hotel Transylvania (PG)
• July 11 ~ Instant Family (PG13)
• July 18 ~ Small Foot (PG13)
• July 25  ~ How to Train Your Dragon (PG)
• August 1 ~ Zoo (PG)
• August 8 ~ Spiderman in to the Spider Verse (PG13)
• August 15 ~ Dumbo (PG)

Free! Every Thursday night, about 8:45 p.m., on the lawn facing the racquetball courts.

Thanks, Steve!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

One year anniversary.

The Friends of Wonder Valley celebrated their one-year anniversary on July 5, 2019. We celebrated by filling out our application for a RAFFLE license. We're not thinking of it as a fundraising tool, but as a way to get more people engaged in our meetings and events.

We're hoping to get donations of new, or nearly new, items and will raffle these off at community meetings and other events. We're told that it may take two months to get the license, just in time for our Fall Meeting Series.

There will be:
  • an ice cream social with our new MAC Delegate, Steve Reyes, on Saturday, August 10; 
  • a poetry event with Ruth Nolan on Saturday, August 31; 
  • a Community Meetings with the Sheriff's Department and Mark Lundquist from the Supervisor's office on Wednesday, September 4; 
  • a theater presentation with Miri Hunter on Saturday, September 28; 
  • a Community Meeting with our Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe on Saturday, October 19; 
  • and a presentation with the Desert Oracle's Ken Layne, on Saturday, October 26.
For more information about the above events, please visit: WonderValley.org.

Mental Health First Aid

L>R: Teresa (Piccolotti) Sitz, Ken Sitz, Jill Reinig

FOWV board members Ken Sitz, Jill Reinig, and Teresa Sitz were certified on July 2nd in Mental Health First Aid, after eight hours of training through the Riverside University Health System.

“There are people in our community who deal with various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. We wanted to educate ourselves, and learn better ways to communicate with them and offer resources,” said Teresa Sitz. “We now know how to destigmatize mental illness so that people can feel safe to reach out for support."

"Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour Evidence Based training that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses and Substance Abuse, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. Course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis."

To register or for more information please contact: Adult Mental Health First Aid Prevention and Early intervention at: PEI@ruhealth.org