Here are some more needs of local nonprofits, along with more detailed lists of two we profiled.
Chico Homeless Shelter
“We’re seeing a real dramatic increase in the people seeking shelter this year,” says Chico Community Shelter Partnership executive director Tami Ritter. “The job and home market in Chico aren’t so good right now and people aren’t making enough to keep their homes. We have some people staying at the shelter now who are working jobs just trying to save enough money.”
After 2 and one-half years as director of the program, Ritter is well aware of what it takes to serve the growing local homeless community. Like many, she is glad that construction has begun on the new Homeless Shelter located at 101 Silver Dollar Way behind Costco-where the roof is currently on and the walls are going up-but the project still needs a lot of local help with funding (see below).
Ritter says that the current process of shifting people between churches-which has been going on since the Armory closed its doors five years ago-has become like a “well-oiled machine.” Members are currently residing at Bidwell Presbyterian and are shuttled for various weekly meals around town.
Ritter explains that the Homeless Shelter is currently in phase one of construction, which is the $125,000 cost of building the dormitory housing. Phase two will be the construction of a social service building that will combine social workers offices with other service providers-like a sort of one-stop area providing various information from health evaluations to SSI assistance ("We are conscientious about not wanting to duplicate any of the other services in town,” Ritter notes). And finally, phase three will be the construction of a dining area that should solve some of the problems inherent in shuttling the homeless particularly on Sundays, when the last free church meal offered is at 3 p.m.
Eventually, if all goes well, the shelter should house 125 singles as well as “breakout” family and isolated rooms for those with kids or health problems that need separate space.
This is a worthy cause and one that definitely needs your help. Here is a list of things you can do (all inquiries should call Ritter at the Shelter office at 891-9048; or you can mail donations to CCSP, P.O. Box 5390, Chico, CA. 95927. You can also visit the CCSP website at chicoshelter.org for more information and pictures.).
1. The Purchase A Square Foot Program ($73 per foot) which will help build the Homeless Shelter and also puts a commemorative plaque in your name (or a gift participant’s) at the shelter.
2. Donate clean underwear and socks.
3. Donate any toiletries, non-perishable items.
4. Contribute money to help with the expenses of trucks which currently move the homeless from church to church.
5. Call Ritter and ask to purchase a gift for the Christmas Fund (where the homeless request one gift each)
6. Volunteer aid. Call Ritter and she will help decide based on your personal skills what you can do to help.
A national non-profit organization with its West Coast base in Orland, Farm Sanctuary has been dedicated for almost 20 years to ending the exploitation of animals used for food production. They rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of different animals every year from factory farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses all over the country.
You can visit their farm site and see the animals yourself-and enjoy the number of programs and special events they offer every year, but they do need you help. For more info, you can call 865-4617 or visit the Farm Sanctuary website at www.farmsanctuary.org.
Here’s a sample list of things you can donate by categories (there are volunteer programs and more listed on their website):
1. New kitchen appliances (coffeemaker, blender)
2. Flatware for intern house
3. Cordless phone, extension cords, light bulbs
4. Large plastic storage containers
5. Cruelty-free soap samples
1. Tupperware containers with lids
2. Non-wool blankets
3. Towels (all-sizes)
4. Pitchforks, rakes, shovels, gloves, wash clothes.
5. Animal carriers (large and small)
Vegan food donations (food and cookbooks)
1. Free sign/banner making
2. T-Shirt Screenprinting
3. Professional services for education literature
1. Roundtrip airline tickets
2. Car rentals/ hotel rooms
1. Digital camera/ video equipment/VHS tapes
Pro Bono Professional Services
1. Legal services on farm animal cruelty cases/public relations/ graphic design/photography
1. Pens, staplers, highlighters, laser printer toner, office chairs, floppy discs, scissors, binders, letter pads, PCs, monitors and printers, etc.
The Esplanade House
(for the office)
copy paper—all colors
large trash bags
two new large white boards
Dry Erase markers
Rolodex or two
White Out pens
blank floppy disks
(for the clients)
pots and pans
blank floppy disks
Boys & Girls Club of Chico
20 headphones for computers
kitchen trash bags
G, PG and PG-13 movies
laminating supplies: luggage tag pockets for club membership cards and business card pockets for Teen Center membership cards
white copy paper, 8 1/2 x 11
various colored copy paper
bright and pastel-colored copy paper for events and crafts
Avery 8371 2-by-3 inches white business cards for membership cards
four Post It easels
printer cartridges: HP Desk Jet 820CSE color and black and HP Desk Jet 692C color and black
single one-ply fold towels 9.25-by-10.25 inches
blue and black ink pens
Polaroid film 600 series
portable heaters for the Teen Center