Off Script: Gathering for community betterment

Carol Scianna and Crystal Apilado first met in 2017 through volunteering with the Winters Friends of the Library board. Carol delivered the Books for Babies box for Crystal’s daughter Ella (center) and Crystal served as WFoL’s Big Day of Giving coordinator. (Courtesy photo)

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I realized just how special the Winters community was when I became an adult.

As a high school student, I volunteered and engaged in community happenings because it was the culture of Winters. Things like Youth Day and the Doug Baldridge Scholarship happened because everyone — adults and youth — joined forces to make it happen.

When I moved back to town with four young kids (and unbeknownst to me, two more to come), I truly began to grasp that all of the opportunities I experienced in my youth were because community members worked hard to create them.

I was inspired at the Yolo Community Foundation’s Philanthropy Breakfast when it was pointed out that government funding can only go so far and comes with a lot of red tape and limitations. It’s nonprofits who help to keep the communities thriving through their work and fundraising.

When the opportunity to attend an All In! Session for the county’s Roadmap to the Future for Yolo County’s children and youth came up, I was all in to participate. I have a dream of seeing more local nonprofits collaborating with each other and with local agencies (the city and the school district) to better serve our residents.

Naturally — and most likely not a surprise to those in the room who know me — I stood up to voice exactly that.

Afterward, council member (and fellow community volunteer) Carol Scianna walked up to tell me that she has a vision of bringing local nonprofits together for a volunteer fair. I told her I shared the vision and that if she was willing — I’d be more than happy to work with her to make it happen.

Folks, it’s happening.

On Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to about Noon, Three Oaks Park will serve as a nonprofit hub at the Volunteer Fair. Our goal is to introduce all of our newest residents (and our long-time ones) to our nonprofits. And, for our local nonprofits to share their volunteer opportunities and grow their volunteer lists.

Carol and I are looking for local (Winters and County) nonprofits who would like to participate. Nonprofits can express their interest in participating in the Volunteer Fair by filling out our interest survey at

From cookie bakers to donors to board members, there is an opportunity for everyone to support our community by engaging with any of our local nonprofit organizations.

For those who are intimidated by the role of a “volunteer” — I encourage you to save the date and plan to come out and say “Hi” and meet the community members who make things happen. At a minimum, you’ll learn about something new in our community that you didn’t know about, and maybe you’ll connect with a cause that is near and dear to your heart.

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