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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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April 9, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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April 9, 2014
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11 REGIONAL commUnitY Quincy Rotary Club members relocate a playset to fulfill a member request. t t Make new friends, but keep the old Laura Beaton Staff Writer Ibeaton@plumasnews.com This week is National Volunteer Week across the nation and there's no better time to start or continue volunteering than now. There's an innovative program serving all of Plumas County that allows one person to give an hour of service and get an hour of service in exchange. Members of Community Connections, a countywide time-banking service exchange, volunteer and receive volunteer services while building community ties at the same time. The way it works is simple. Members make requests for services they desire and program coordinator Leslie Wall sends out daily emails to all members listing requests and volunteer opportunities. Here's an example: CC member Sally lives in Blairsden and loves to sew and mend. She answers the request of a CC member in Clio who asks for curtains to be made. Sally and the other member, Jack, report the amount of time spent on the curtains to Wall. These hours are debited from Jack's CC account and credited to Chris Peters, left, volunteers weekly at Quincy Elementary School as part of Community Connections. Kindergartner Sarah receives the benefit of Chris' time during Read Across America Week. Photos courtesy Community Connections Volunteering: It's a way of life for many residents "1 appreciate Community Connections because it breaks down barriers between people, getting them connected and celebrating everyone's skills." Darla DeRuiter Community Connections Member Sally's account. A couple weeks later, Sally cashes in her time credits to get a gourmet-cooking lesson from another CC member. Meanwhile, Jack, who received the sewing services, knows a lot about social media and holds a community workshop in Portola. Members attend and "pay" with their own time credits. In some cities, individuals pay $400 or more to join a time-banking service, and sponsors i (businesses, organizations or groups) might pay $1,000 or more. In Plumas County, individuals can join Community Connections for just $20 a year with a $10 yearly renewal fee, while sponsors may join for $100 annually. Community Connections operates under the umbrella of Plumas Rural Services and has members across the county. From Beckwourth to Graeagle, Meadow Valley, Greenville, Chester and everywhere in between, community members fill requests for service, rack up time credits and redeem them for services they themselves want or need. Time banking is similar to bartering, in that people exchange services in lieu of cash. The difference is that Community Connections has a 361-member pool to barter with, and about 450 services to choose from. Initial requests do not include names, only locations, protecting members' privacy. In addition to individual members, there are 56 sponsors currently registered with CC, offering volunteers numerous opportunities to earn time credits while helping an organization at the same time. Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a sponsor, and some of its available volunteer activities are building trails and assisting at fundraising events. Quincy Friends of Plumas County Library is another sponsor. For its $100 annual membership fee, the organization gets 100 or more hours of help with its quarterly book sales. Some members form "SWAT teams," wherein several volunteers band together to tackle a bigger job. Members of th .... . wedding recent. M_ agnlficen ,, Jnerru ,. . -tlOn h-'- t 7 arlo.- Plock'iJ. rUm ler, Kathy ;: at Panga::err the Call for -, ,ont: Noreen L TM, Bianr, ,", ure and D..L ,,rap at a --- ' nOmPson _ "." harrison ___ ruo. Back _L' cent ,ha Terri Rust -ha Maripat ,rr: One such group calls itself the "Magnificent 7." These six - eight Quincy-area women joined forces a few years ago to answer a request for help with a wedding reception. NOW they are in high demand, with bookings through August. Members gather three times a year for "Swap Meet 'n' Eat" events. The next one is set for April 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Mineral Building at the fairgrounds. There is practically no end to the services one can give or request Go to www.plumasruralservices.or g, call Leslie Wall at 283-3611, ext. "818, or visit Community Connections on Facebook to join or learn more. ,, /eft, of at the What members have to say "Growing up I spent most of my summers in Plumas County and always dreamed that this community would be a place I could call home. The giving, supportive, and See Connections, page 6B