ARC of Butte County

WRAP ARTIST Resource Developer Sally Mendez is ready to get creative at ARC of Butte County’s gift wrap center, newly opened at the Mangrove Plaza.

WRAP ARTIST Resource Developer Sally Mendez is ready to get creative at ARC of Butte County’s gift wrap center, newly opened at the Mangrove Plaza.

photo by Tom Angel

ARC of Butte County
2030 Park Ave., Chico, CA 95928, (530) 891-5865

One of ARC of Butte County’s biggest annual fund-raisers was very nearly kept “under wraps” this year.

After a long history of running a gift-wrap booth at the North Valley Plaza, construction there necessitated finding a new location for this Christmas season. Following months of pounding the pavement, ARC Resource Developer Sally Mendez caught a lucky break when she placed a phone call to John Miller of RSC Associates.

Miller was able to arrange for the donation of the space recently vacated by Shanda’s Hair Fashions in the Mangrove Plaza, giving ARC a rent-free location to set up its gift wrapping operation once again.

Now the job, as Mendez sees it, is to let the public—both those who have volunteered in the past as well as those who would like to utilize the services—know where to find the new ARC gift-wrap location.

Mangrove Plaza, situated at the corner of Mangrove and Palmetto avenues, is home to such tenants as Blockbuster Video, Woman Beautiful, La Comida and Round Table Pizza. The ARC Gift Wrap joined them last Monday, with a big sign in place to announce its presence.

The gift-wrap operation is open daily through Christmas Eve. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24.

Mendez suggests that volunteering is a fun way to celebrate the season and help out a good cause. Church, school and civic groups have traditionally provided the backbone of the volunteer corps. Mendez encourages individuals, families or groups of friends to call and inquire about volunteering as well. She can be reached at 891-5865, ext. 202.

Since this is a two-week project, it’s perfect for people whose schedules don’t allow them to make long-term commitments to volunteering. Two- and four-hour shifts are available. What’s more, volunteers do not need to have any specific expertise in gift-wrapping, since training and tips are provided.

“And we dress them up with a lot of bows!” Mendez says to alleviate any potential concern over the final product.

In conjunction with the gift-wrap operation, Round Table Pizza is sponsoring a fund-raiser this Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11am to 4 p.m., with 20 percent of proceeds going to ARC. Likewise, Chevy’s will donate 20 percent of all its sales on Sat., Dec. 22, to the organization.

ARC’s thrift store continues to be a source of revenue for the organization and features a new collectibles section. ARC also now accepts gifts of used cars, which provides donors with a tax-deductible donation equaling the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle.

Mendez also wants to remind the community that its ARC Tower Pavilion, recently refurbished with new carpet, is available to rent at “very affordable rates” on evenings and weekends. The facility has a full kitchen available and features room for 180 guests.

Established in 1954, the ARC of Butte County was instrumental in securing basic services for children and adults with special needs and in establishing special-education classes in Butte County. Today, ARC offers a wide range of opportunities and services for its clients and families to achieve more fulfilling lives. It serves as a central resource for information concerning mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Its top priority through the years has been to offer information and support to parents and children with developmental disabilities. Its family and client service programs include Respite Care Services, Independent Living Skills Program, a Socialization Program and Recreational Therapy Program.