Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 28, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 28, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 1B REGIONAL Substitute teacher Brenda Ross works with ninthgrader Ashlin Hummel at her laptop. The school's goals m communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and (newly added) compassion m shine from overhead on the large flat-screen Freshman geography students study using laptops, and work freely together in various sized groups in Portola Junior-Senior High School's new Media Center. The new flat-screen television provides an additional teaching tool for the entire group. Photos courtesy Eastern Plumas Health Care television. , rcle of caring A ci Eastern Plumas Health Care gives back to the communityit serves Linda Satchwell Eastern Plumas Health Care Special to Feather Publishing "EPHC Gives Back," which began as an idea by a several Eastern Plumas Health Care employees to create a group that would gi+ve bt/c1 ff {1 bi-hmanity it serves, received a big boost when one EPHC Gives Back member attended an informal dinner this past October. Talk turned to Portola and the struggle many residents have to make ends meet and to provide their children what they need to be successful in school One woman, who was retiring, said she wanted to do something to "help the children." When asked how she would like to help, she said, "Would a check for $10,000 be enough?" She had one stipulation that she remain anonymous. A meeting was arranged between EPHC Gives Back members (Lori Crown, Linda Jameson, Regina Martinez, Linda Satchwe11, A1anna Wilson and Annie Yoakum); and Sara Sheridan, principal of Portola Junior-Senior High School; Bruce Williams, principal of C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School; and Shannon Harston, the newly appointed student services coordinator for both schools. The donor suggested filling backpacks with socks, underwear and generic jeans and jackets as she had done previously for school children in Arizona. Harston, who had worked with Portola's children and families before coming to her newly created position at P1umas Unified School District, shook her head. This is a small community. Everyone knows everyone, she said. Kids here wouldn't wear clothes that would make them stand out as different. And they'd go without a jacket before they'd wear an obviously cheap one to school. In reality, these kids just wanted to fit in and be like everyone else. Martinez said she could get clothes the kids really wanted for just a few dollars more than the generic clothing. In the ensuing discussion, an idea was formed: Harston made contact with families she knew could use the help. She invited them to the school, Rummaged out! Members of EPHC Gives Back started the rummage sale, which raised money for Portola's schoolchildren, full of energy and enthusiasm. By the end of the day, it was a different story. From left: Eastern Plumas Health Care employees Regina Martinez, Linda Jameson, Lori Crown, Linda Satchwell, Annie Yoakum and Alanna Wilson. ,v We want everyone who participates to feel respected. ..... We-d00n't want to know why th( need help or who they are - we're here to help whoever II needs it. Regina Martinez Member, EPHC Gives Back where she had a laptop set up. Martinez provided the links to three websites: Old Navy, Kohl's and Sports Authority. The families shopped online, choosing the clothing of their choice, in the right size and color. There was a total dollar amount set for elementary school kids and a slightly higher one for high school students. Martinez had coupons, searched email specials and suggested a similar, lower-priced item in some cases. The other key ingredient to the success of the program was keeping it anonymous. Harston met with each family and then assigned them an ID number. She faxed this to Martinez, who shopped for deals and then placed the order. Each order, when it arrived at the hospital, was put in a large bag with the family's assigned number. Martinez delivered the numbered bags to Harston, who in turn delivered them directly to the homes of the recipients. EPHC Gives Back staff never knew the names of the children or their families. "We want everyone who participates to feel respected," said Martinez. "We don't want to know why they need help or who they are we're here to help whoever needs it." Harston said that the Gives Back program was essential to her role as student services coordinator, because she was able to call families and say, "'We have this volunteer driven program through EPHC Gives Back.' It helps give a purpose to the introduction something to offer them that is real and tangible right now. It helps build the relationship; families are immediately more open." Harston said getting entire families into the school is a concept both she and Principal Sheridan have been promoting. For this program, the entire family will come into Harston's office and sit down at the computer and choose the items they need these range, typically, from jackets, boots and snow suits, to sports shoes. The hospital group is committed to helping in any way it can -- from the standard to the creative. In fact, the group recently paid for medical needs not covered by insurance that help boost students' success in school and items that help young students passionate about an after-school program in the arts to follow their dreams. So far, the program has served 27 children and youths in a myriad of ways. "Every single family that I've met with," said Harston, "gets what they really want. No two orders are the same. Every single family has been immensely grateful." She gave examples of the difference these gifts made: "We have kids on the basketball court that wouldn't have been because they wouldn't have been able to afford shoes; kids with new snow pants and boots will get to play in the snow before, they could only stair in designated plowed areas. They were not allowed to go where they could run and play and be social." And the concept of caring doesn't stop there. When EPHC Gives Back held a rummage sale to raise more funds for this program, Harston let recipients know about the sale. She told them that purchasing items at the sale could be a way for them to say thank you for their gifts it would be their way to give back. According to Harston, a number of these families made a point of attending the rummage sale. As the two largest organizations in the area, both EPHC and the schools see this collaboration as an example of how much good can come from working together. In fact, this program has been so successful that both entities have agreed that it will See EPHC, page 14B yo., :Your Performance and Repair Needs Trucks, SUV'e, Imports and Classic Cars  , Custom Dual Exhausts, Catalytic Converters, Stainless SteelTipe andTubing Find us on l facebook