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Volunteering around Valley Center


December 03, 2013
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

Valley Centerites tend to go to elsewhere when volunteering because the awareness of service opportunities right here in town is not always apparent. During the holiday season, people are mindful of giving and because of this, charities often have an abundance of help and donations. It's when the Christmas lights are long packed away that the need for service ramps up.

Getting involved locally can be a rewarding experience, knowing you played a role in making your community a better place. Research points to the many benefits of volunteerism. Claremont Graduate University psychologist Allen Omoto, Ph.D., began studying what compels people to volunteer and discovered five primary motivations: values, such as humanitarian concerns, sometimes with a religious component; concern for the community in which they live; esteem enhancement, as a way to feel better about themselves; cultural awareness, to gain a better understanding of other people, cultures or places; and personal development, to challenge themselves, meet new people, and/or further their career.

Whether you're a senior with available hours, a stay-at-home parent with kids in school, or a high school student needing service hours for your college applications, there are numerous opportunities to serve right here in Valley Center. The following Valley Center schools and nonprofits are seeking volunteers now and throughout the year:

Valley Center Primary School: For this week's Winter Wonderland, the school is seeking adult volunteers for set-up on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m., decorating help on Friday, Dec. 6 (during the day) and staffing help from students (high school and middle school age) on Friday night from 5:30-8 p.m., so that parents can enjoy the event.

Valley Center Elementary School: Adult volunteers are needed Wednesday, Dec. 4, to set up the annual Christmas store, as well as helping with gift wrapping and the cash register next week.

All through the school year, service opportunities for middle school and high school students are available at school events at both the Primary School and the Valley Center Elementary School, such as movie nights, the annual Halloween Carnival and other special events.

For all Primary School and Elementary School volunteer opportunities, go to www.valleycentertpc.com for more information.

Lilac Elementary School needs teen volunteers for the following events later this year:

Open House BBQ, April 1 and 2, 4-7:30 p.m.

Family Art Night, May 16 (food service and craft tables), 4-8 p.m. (or earlier if students want to come right after school).

To RSVP or ask questions, students can contact lilacschooltpc@gmail.com

Valley Center Middle School has a number of volunteer opportunities for adults

VCMS AVID needs tutors and guest speakers. Guest speakers are needed to share with the class a presentation on their individual occupations to help students get a better understanding of what different careers entail. Contact Stephanie Aguilar at aguilar.st@vcpusd.org or Kristi Martineau at martineau.kr@vcpusd.org.

VCMS-ASB needs help with school dances, career fairs and international/cultural fairs. Contact Carol Cultrera: cultrera.ca@vcpusd.org.

Valley Center High School needs adult tutors for AVID (contact Susie knoll: knoll.su@vcpusd.org) and after-school ASE program (contact Susy Sanchez: sanchez.su@vcpusd.org).

Relay For Life/American Cancer Society: A variety of opportunities are available for their annual event in June at Bates Nut Farm. Contact Cole Doll: valleycenterrelay@gmail.com.

Bark For Life/American Cancer Society is a one-mile dog walk that raises funds for ACS. To be held in September, 2014. Volunteers of all ages needed. Contact Lori Lallo: barkforlifevc@gmail.com.

Valley Center Community Church partners with several area churches and youth groups to do service projects. Contact Pastor Paul at VCCC at 760-749-5151.

The Center for Living in Harmony in Valley Center (Little Creek Acres Farm) has volunteer opportunities available year-round. They practice and teach sustainable agriculture. More information at www.livinginharmony.org.

Valley Center Kennels is a dog-boarding service and a rescue operated for the nonprofit, California Labradors, Retrievers and More. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs. Located at 27745 N. Lake Wohlford Rd. (across from Valley View Casino). More information can be found at labsandmore.org.

Hoofs and Woofs Animal Rescue is looking for riders, 16 years and older, with advanced or intermediate skills to help train and exercise their rescued horses. They also need volunteers to do ranch chores. Contact hoofsandwoofsanimalrescue@gmail.com or call (714) 609-0799.

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