Last night, at the July 15 Santa Paula City Council Meeting, the City formally announced its citywide volunteer program, Santa Paula Proud. Santa Paula Proud provides residents the opportunity to be the change they want to see in the Santa Paula community. Since its soft launch on social media earlier in the month, the City has already received 32 volunteers who have signed up to participate in the program.
“Volunteerism is the heart of a community,” said Mayor Rick Araiza. “And during this time of necessary physical distancing, City staff has come up with a fantastic way of bringing our community together for the betterment of all Santa Paula residents through the Santa Paula Proud Program.”
Whether it be serving hot meals to a senior, mentoring or coaching a young person, beautifying a park or the historic downtown, or assisting the police department through citizen’s patrol activities, the Santa Paula Proud program offers something for everyone. Some events are one- day events, while other options are ongoing. The opportunities include:
- Santa Paula Beautiful: Volunteers can help beautify parks by cleaning up bike trails, removing graffiti, painting the skate park fence and maintaining the City’s Rose Garden and Train Depot. This will be a one-day only volunteer event, which is scheduled for Saturday, August 15, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Similar events are also planned in the future.
- Adopt-a-Park: Volunteers can help clean up a park, which they “adopt.” Maintenance will include removing litter and weeds, and helping identify and reporting necessary maintenance issues, such as potential safety issues and graffiti removal. If possible, volunteers should plan for a weekly commitment assisting with park maintenance. All equipment and supplies will be provided.
- Bike Trail Ambassador: Volunteers can help preserve the use of the City’s bike trail by cleaning up litter and weeds and identifying and reporting any safety concerns and areas needing graffiti removal. All equipment and supplies will be provided.
- Recreation Class Instructor: Volunteers can plan, develop and teach a class to a group of youths or adults. Volunteers are encouraged to spend as much time needed to create a fun and engaging class, while classes themselves would likely average one to two hours.
- Meals on Wheels Delivery Drivers: Volunteers can help assist Santa Paula seniors through home delivery of meals to those in need. Drivers are typically needed Monday through Friday from between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Interested volunteers should plan to spend two hours per week on deliveries. To qualify, volunteers must have access to a personal vehicle and insurance certificate. Partial insurance and mileage are eligible for reimbursement by the City.
- Senior Class Instructor: Volunteers can plan, develop and teach a class to a group of seniors. Volunteers are encouraged to spend as much time needed to curate interesting content. Additionally, time commitment is determined by the class/course that is developed.
- Main Street Ambassador: Volunteers can help renew and keep Santa Paula’s historic downtown vibrant by picking up trash on Main Street, acting as ambassadors to businesses and visitors, and identifying and reporting any maintenance needs, such as safety issues and graffiti removal. All equipment and supplies will be provided.
- Santa Paula Police Department Citizen’s Patrol: Citizen’s Patrol volunteers serve their community in a non-hazardous and non-enforcement capacity while providing tremendous support to the department and their community.
- Santa Paula Police Department Explorers Program: The Police Explorers program offers high school age students to volunteer in a variety of different duties in support of the police department. This program is designed to develop skills and a better understanding of what police officers encounter and is a great introduction for teenagers who are interested in a career with law enforcement.
Santa Paula Proud allows Santa Paula residents as young as 6 years old to volunteer with a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 may volunteer if they are supervised by a parent or guardian, local community organization or City staff.
While dozens of volunteers have already signed up, volunteers are still needed for Meals on Wheels, Adopt-a-Park, recreation class instructors and the Citizen’s Patrol program. Volunteer forms can be filled out online.