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We volunteer at the Food Bank, doing a variety of jobs.
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Each December, we gather to visit the nursing home and retirement community. We go to sing songs and sometimes visit with residents. This year Chase Pickering, Youth Leadership Fellow, came along with us.
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Our partnership in understanding began when we were joined with a group in South Africa, Uganda. We had our first Pen Pal meeting with our "Wings" group, to write letters of introduction, and we had many questions about life in Uganda. Our group is sponsoring them in a poster contest with RESPECT, in Africa. It is a unique opportunity to share outside our country.
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The group organized a community tree planting and plant swap. We raised $2,000 in grant money and planted beautiful large trees at our county rec park. Speakers from local environmental groups came to speak at the event.
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Each month, for the next 5 months, we are helping the National Park Service restore a trailhead at Zuma Canyon in Malibu, California. We learned about the importance of native plants, then we learned how to plant them ourselves. We plant, mulch, weed, and water the plants each month. Native animals need native plants to survive. The native plants also keep the watershed healthy by holding onto dirt so that it doesn't wash into nearby streams. When they get large enough, native plants make it much harder for nonnative plants to invade and take over.
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Our main on going project is nature mapping. In order to nature map, the kids learned to identify and count wildlife species by sight, sound, smell and sign. We also monitor the health of creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes. To improve the health of nature, we map and report invasive plants to the park authorities.
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Coastal Cleanup Day occurs all over the world, the third Saturday of September. More volunteers participate in this event than any other. Our group organizes a cleanup in Shasta County and the Cottonwood Creek watershed in California every year. R&S volunteers act as beach captains and we solicit volunteers from schools, 4H clubs, scouts, scuba diving clubs, kayak clubs, Sierra Club, Audubon Club and the general public. We have done this project the last 3 years.
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We made fishing line recycle bins out of 6 inch PVC and mounted them near two boating ramps and a fishing pier. We collect the recycled lines once a month and send it to Pure Fishing Recycling Collection Center, 1900 18th St, Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360, where it is recycled.
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Ten year old Sammi, who planned a baby shower in September for a family receiving housing services from Save the Family, decided to sponsor the same family again for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She collected items from group members to fulfill the family's wish list. She also shopped for some items using her own money. Her favorite part was making home-baked pies and greeting cards for the family. Sammi is now planning to organize a spring garage sale and bake sale to raise money for the family and the organization.
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Group members purchased items for holiday care packages for six senior citizens living alone. One family brought them to the Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale, where the packages were distributed.

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