Monday, December 17, 2018

What do we do?

People are asking us what we do. Here is a short list of some of the day-to-day things we do, and our plans for the future.

Though the County sponsors the food distribution at the WVCC, there are ongoing costs and tasks covered by the Friends of Wonder Valley:
  • we go to Staters for 5 days, early in the morning, to collect the boxes for the food
  • we buy the packing tape, blades, stamps, and other tools needed for the distribution
  • we buy the donuts and coffee, and other snacks for the volunteers
  • we promote the distributions to the newspapers and radio, through the churches, on Facebook and other social media sites, and through signage at the WVCC
We've also just partnered with Twentynine Palms Community Food Pantry to keep emergency groceries on hand.

We're applying to partner with Feeding America Inland Empire, which requires a $50 application fee, a $22 food handlers license, and onsite training in Riverside. This will open a lot of possibilites for us, including the possibility of signing people up for SNAP, and providing fresh vegetable distributions once a month.

  • We have helped elderly people pay their property taxes online
  • We have helped arrange medical appointments
  • We are helping an elderly man rehome his many dogs and reduce his expenses
  • We hold hands and dry tears when people get frustrated and don't know where to turn
As we no longer have a fire department, with EMTs and Paramedics at the fire station, it's critical to get people in our community trained in basic life saving techniques. Our board secretary is licensed EMT and keeps a medic bag on hand at all times. We:
  • partner with Morongo Basin Ambulance to have CPR/AED trainings for our volunteers and other community members, and offer scholarships for those who cannot afford the training. 
  • partner with Tenet Health to bring Stop the Bleed certification classes to Wonder Valley. 16 people were trained in 2018. We need to train many more.
  • Teresa has partnered with Morongo Basin Healthcare District for several years, volunteering at the Community Health Fairs. Her volunteering and continual lobbying has been instrumental in bringing a Mobile Medical Van to Wonder Valley in early 2019.
  • We will continue inviting Lanny Swerdlow to Wonder Valley to update us on medical marijuana and the management of pain and anxiety.
To have a two-hour event at the WVCC costs a minimum of $20 in facilities fees, $80+ for event insurance, and $250 for a refundable cleaning deposit. These fees make using the Community Center prohibitive for most people in Wonder Valley.

Our MAIN goal is to make the WVCC useful to the Community and we do so by covering the fees for qualified meetings. A qualified meeting is not aligned with a political party or candidate, is nonsectarian, open to the public, beneficial to Wonder Valley, and the hosts are unable to afford the facility fees.

Over the four years that Teresa Piccolotti Sitz (our board secretary) served as the County MAC Delegate, she produced more than 55 events at the community center. Since July FOWV has directly covered the costs (facilities fees, insurance, and cleaning deposits) for 5 Artists of the Month; Weed Show Presentation with Ted Meyers; Living with Snakes, with Jane Fawke; Stop the Bleed; Owls, with Susan Doggett; A Particle of Dread, with Miri Hunter (theater); Finding Fulgurites, with Darlene Parris; and local author Catherine Connors reading from her new book,The Feminine Revolution.

In January we will start applying for grants. We hope to get a humanities grant to cover the cost of 8 to10-part series on the history of Wonder Valley; a corporate grant to cover the cost of new tables, chairs, and curtains for the WVCC; a corporate grant to cover the costs associated with expanding our food programs so that we can add additional distributions; a grant to cover the costs of joining the Highway 62 Art Tour in October 2019 -- giving local artists a low cost (if not free) venue to show their art during the tour.

We're in the process of updating the bingo equipment, and learning how to run bingo. We will be able to apply for Bingo and raffle licenses in July and will then work to add these to our event lineups.

We take our goals seriously and review them often. Every event and every expenditure must meet one of our goals. Teresa served on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles for three years - she was elected twice. She served as secretary for her last year, working closely with the Los Angeles City Attorneys office on issues of compliance. She is the secretary for the Friends of Wonder Valley and is making sure everything is by the book from the beginning. Check out our GuideStar profile if you'd like to know more.


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