Guest Column: Volunteers, donations help nonprofits support community

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A Winters Express op-ed column

By Rebecca Fridae, Winters Friends of the Library President Special to the Express I have said this many times before, and I am saying it again now; I am grateful to live in Winters. It is a community of people that support each other every day. Once again, donors came forward on the Big Day of Giving, on May 6, to make sure our volunteer organizations in town had funds to do what they need to do. Eight nonprofits joined together to publicize their needs. Each organization is an important entity in making Winters unique. Winters Education Foundation, Winters Music Boosters, Winters Senior Foundation, Winters Participation Gallery, The Historical Society of Winters (Museum), Winters Farm to School, Putah Creek Council and Winters Friends of the Library collaborated to promote Big Day of Giving, a Sacramento Regional Foundation fundraiser that coordinates people giving to nonprofits on one day in May each year. This year, when the preliminary numbers were announced, Winters Friends of the Library received at least $32,800, from 144 individual donations. Ten thousand of that was a matching-fund created by gifts from Crowne Communities, First Northern Bank, Homes by Towne, Waste Management of Woodland, The Rotary Club of Winters, Winters Friends’ board members, and other Friends. One philanthropic, anonymous donor gave an additional $10,000 dollars to add to our matching fund. We thank all these generous donors for their welcomed support. Businesses in town offered help and contributions as well. The Winters Express, Charley Wallace, Winters Printing, Lester Farms Bakery, Steady Eddy’s, and other downtown businesses offered support by sharing social media posts and displaying posters. We appreciate their help. The students from the high school Interact Club, under the leadership of Olivia Rodriguez, created a personal fundraising page online and raised over $1,000 toward our goal. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to our library. The Sacramento Regional Foundation and Yolo County Regional Foundation helped our cause as well. They supplied all the nonprofits with monetary prizes, promotion, and training. WFoL won two of their prizes, one, called the Business Partnership prize, a $2,500 prize for collaborating with our other nonprofits and several businesses in town, which was split between the eight groups, and one prize that was an hourly prize for donations. Former Winters Librarian, Toni Mendietta, offered a special Pajama Storytime the night before the event as her way of giving something back to WFoL. I am grateful to her. I thank all the volunteers in our Friends group. Lisa Nalbone led her Communications Team, including Ameryn Briggs, Megan Bettis, and Natalie Hernandez in working hours and hours to make things run smoothly and efficiently. They created pages on our website, monitored progress, and wrote all the thank you notes. They have earned my gratitude and admiration. Every board member contributed donations and time to make it the success it was. Revalee Hemken collected stories and photos to share on-line of how the library has affected the lives of so many in town, Carol Scianna had the hard task of asking businesses to help with the matching fund, and Sally Brown kept all the accounting in order. The entire board put in a great team effort, and I thank each and every one. As soon as our county opens back up, we will begin to use the funds to Refresh, Restore and Reconnect at our library. Won’t that be wonderful? If you are new to Winters, and would like to have a larger part in what is happening in town, choose an organization and volunteer. It is the glue that holds our community together and makes us all part of the whole. It is way to make friends and see up close, what makes Winters, Winters. If you’d like to learn more about our organization, you can find us online at wfol.org

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