Express Yourself: An open letter to newcomers to Winters

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By Rebecca Fridae
Special to the Express

By now, you’ve figured out that Winters is a wonderful place to be. We live in a lovely region of the Sacramento Valley with sheltering hills to our west, and the delta breezes that come from the Bay to cool us off on hot evenings.

We have amazing farmland surrounding us that produces some of the best fruits, nuts, and vegetables in California, not to mention world-class wines. Our older, turn-of-the-century downtown offers charm as well as great food and the best hardware store around.

But it is the community of people that is our biggest asset. You will find us friendly, helpful, and generous. We come together when others need our help, whether it be a small thing, such as watering the neighbors’ lawn when they are away, or collecting items and cash for victims of the last horrific fire. We help.

And that brings me to the reason for this letter. This community has a history of volunteerism, and if you’d like to become a more integral part of our town, there are many avenues to be a part of it. There are many groups and organizations that could use your help. And if you are tech savvy, you are even more needed, as many of these groups are not proficient with media. If sports and games are your passion, you could choose to help coach a soccer team or work with the Little League, or volunteer with the swim team.

If you lean toward the arts, there are the wonderful mural painters you could join, or help the newly organized nonprofit, Open Mic, or become involved with the venerated Winters Theatre Company.

If you like getting your hands in the dirt, there are two groups to join: The Guerrilla Gardeners, who keep the flowers at the post office and pots along the street downtown blooming, or The Library Gardeners, who work with the plants by the library.

If you are interested in more short-term ways to volunteer, there are many events that happen once a year that could use your help. Coming up in September is the Festival de la Comunidad. Other events that could use your help might be Autos for Autism, The Salmon Festival, Youth Day, or the Tractor Parade.

There are ways to volunteer that take a longer commitment but are very fulfilling. These service organizations such as Lions, Rotary, Meals on Wheels, and the Yolo Food Bank really change lives. They are all worthy causes.

Then there is my favorite nonprofit, Winters Friends of the Library, that you can join to support programs at our library and cultural events. We sell fruit trees, host summer concerts, participate in the Youth Day Parade, and sponsor “Books for Babies,” to mention a few. Stop me on the street sometime and I’ll tell you more about it.

I’m sure I’ve missed dozens of groups that would love for you to become a part of their team.

Keeping Winters the charming place it is with all the fun activities and events it offers takes work. All these groups could use volunteers and each group is a great way for you to meet new people and become part of the heart of our community. I hope you will consider it.

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