By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley
Twenty-eight local nonprofit organizations gathered at the San Moritz Lodge on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, to recruit new volunteers into their groups, offer information about their programs and share what they do with others. The non-profit organizations are the backbone of the mountain communities, and they do make a significant difference in each community. Many people from each booth went around the room to learn about the other volunteer groups in town. When surveying the population of the lodge room, most of the known movers and shakers of the community were in attendance with smiles, happily showing off what their groups do and getting more volunteers.
Some were service clubs looking for new members and sharing the programs they support. The Soroptimists support women’s programs and student programs; L.A. Women’s Club is a long time club that donates to other groups; Rotary supports everything and has been a major supporter of the mountain communities; Crestline Lions donate money and do service for the community; other clubs such as the Sierra Club protect the environment; and the Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club operates Leisure Shores Senior Citizen Center which offers many programs and presents the Senior Luncheon each Tuesday and Thursday at the San Moritz Lodge. These clubs are fun to belong to while raising funds to help others.
There were several groups that help others through volunteer service such as Mountain Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to those who are shut in. They were looking for both drivers and additional recipients. The Homeless Coalition tries to prevent mountain folks from becoming homeless. Mountain C.E.R.T. trains to help others during disasters. The Mountains Community Hospital Auxiliary helps the hospital by doing things to save the hospital money and runs the gift store, and Lutheran Social Services operates a homeless shelter. The Arrowhead Arts Association teaches students in our local schools to play music and brings concerts to the schools and communities.
The Friends of the Library operates books sales to raise money to support the purchase of new books for the libraries, while Citizens on Patrol assists the local sheriff’s department by helping at events, helping with traffic control and providing other support at the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station. The Mountain Top Amateur Radio Association teaches residents to use short wave radios for fun and during emergency situations.
Several groups operate physical locations and offer classes, such as the Mountain Skies Astronomy Society, which has the Astronomy Center and Observatory and the Heaps Peak Arboretum; and the Rim of the World Historical Society, which operates the Mountain History Museum and was seeking docents and volunteers.
The SCMF Fire Lookout program was seeking more volunteers who want to spend time in a fire lookout tower to watch for fires during the fire season, plus greet visitors. The Southern California Mountains Foundation works with the U.S. Forest Service to educate residents about the forest. The San Bernardino Land Trust was there to get volunteers to educate people about how to protect the forest.
Rebuilding Together restores houses to being dry, safe, and warm during Rebuilding Day, which will be held in June this year. They need about 100 one-day volunteers to clean up, paint and help to get homes back into good condition. All year long, they also do repairs to homes that need help to keep them safe.
Several veterans’ organizations were there seeking vets to assist and wanting volunteers to help in their events, including ROTW Vet Outreach and Orenda Vets Marine Corp League. The Crestline Chamber of Commerce was there seeking volunteers for their upcoming community events, including Corks and Hops which occurs monthly from June through October, and for Jamboree Days on July 4th weekend.
This was the third year the volunteer recruitment has taken place, but the first time it was held at the San Moritz Lodge, and it was coordinated by Stan Howe. Many groups had door prize drawings for swag, gift cards and other items for those who stopped at their booths. Overall, about 200 people were involved in this volunteer recruitment event.
Anyone who missed this Saturday event and wants to get involved should check the website or Facebook page of the group in which they have an interest, see their mission statements and contact information, and then contact them to get involved.