Put a Cork in It
The giving doesn’t stop with the incredible amount of cash the community raised.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
T here’s a local who lives in Seaside who doesn’t have a lot of money. Thanks to an involved work schedule, he is also short on free time.
But he’s rich with at least one resource: Corks.
He once aspired to assemble the most inspired patterned corkboard known to modern man—and to that end received bags and bags of corks from his wine-drinking friends—but that’s not important. What is: That those seemingly gratuitous bottle stoppers can generate a mountain of crafty chances for the underserved student-artists at Youth Arts Collective. Bring on the spare canvases, frames and watercolors, says YAC co-founder Marcia Perry.
But those corks aren’t the only opportunities popping for those who can’t afford to give financially: surprisingly simple and meaningful ways appear everywhere.
Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (see story, p. 16) just wants your story (as part of a community history project). Chamber Music Monterey Bay just needs your ears (to help bring its sounds to atypical venues). Pacific Grove Art Center benefits big from simple visits because those numbers translate into traction for grants. Same goes for Everyone’s Harvest cooking demos.
Time is often more valuable than money for many life-changing operations like Boys & Girls Club and CASA of Monterey County. The Food Bank for Monterey County and Ag Against Hunger can work wonders with a volunteer morning here or there. Surfrider is stoked to get an hour out of you picking up plastic that would otherwise poison the ocean, its inhabitants and, eventually, us.
Those contributions don’t have to be completely magnanimous, either: Free financial education awaits volunteers aiding the poor with their taxes through United Way Monterey County. Helping manage recycling and composting with The Offset Project can mean passes to events like Harvest Carmel or the Jazz Festival. Donating time to a worthy cause—and at www.montereycountygives.com there are 71 of them to chose from—when you’re underemployed reveals a range of desirable attributes in an employee, work ethic, community involvement and compassion among them.
Then there’s a method of community mindedness that takes almost no money or time: Spreading the word. Informing parents that they have a free nutrition training resource in Choices for Children or telling victims they have heartfelt support at the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center can prevent greater problems.
This past year, donors scratching together gifts as small as $.25 to reach a total that soared past half a million dollars (see story, p. 16)—before the Weekly’s match—showed our local community is incredibly giving. Here’s hoping these diverse, nonfiduciary avenues only help keep the generosity flowing, uncorked.