SRJC students and faculty volunteer for United Way

Isabel Johnson, News Editor

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A group of 58 SRJC students, faculty and staff members will renovate a transitional home for youths recently out of foster care on Sept. 8. The project is part of United Way’s Day of Caring.

The SRJC group will work on the José and Mary Tamayo House, which provides housing, counseling and job readiness training to former foster youths who may be homeless as a part of the organization Social Advocates for Youth (SAY).

“At 18 years old you’re not necessarily ready to go out in the world or prepared to take care of yourself,” said Diane Traversi, coordinator of SRJC’s Day of Caring group and director of admissions and records. “They assist them in getting jobs and a lot of them end up being students who come here to SRJC to start their college education.”

People from all over Sonoma County form groups to help different charities and agencies in the county. The United Way website (liveunited.org) says, “United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.”

At 8 a.m. Day of Caring volunteers will gather at the County Center in Santa Rosa for a rally before starting their projects. “Day of Caring is sort of the way United Way kicks-off their campaign for the year,” Traversi said.

“We can stay in our own little worlds and forget that there’s other things in this world that are important to other people and that we need to be able to see and feel a little part of,” said Cindy Molina, SRJC admissions and records technician. “There’s so much out there that we don’t see and it’s that moment of taking the chance to go out there and check it out…because you want to know what’s out there that you possibly can help with.”

This will be the fifth time an SRJC team will participate in the Day of Caring. Anyone interested in helping with next year’s Day of Caring, or volunteering for other events should contact Traversi at [email protected] for more information.

“The first year that Diane organized us, we were small but mighty and I felt so honored to be working with the great JC folk in our group,” said Kathleen Kearney, another repeat volunteer from the JC. “We got filthy and full of paint and couldn’t have been happier.”

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