Working with the Community to Improve the Community
As the Valley Improvement Projects Community Center for Social and Environmental Justice goes into its sixth month we look back on 2013 as the year that an idea became a reality. Creating a social space near downtown Modesto that could act as a central location for under-represented community members to organize and educate themselves on the issues that affect their daily lives was goal and last year that goal was reached. VIP became part of state-wide coalitions, like the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition and the California Cleaner Freight Coalition, that have led to meeting with elected officials from the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors to California State Senators and demonstrating in front of government agencies from the State Department in San Francisco to the Environmental Protection Agency in Sacramento and attending public hearings on Covanta’s trash incinerator in Patterson, the Waste Management landfill in Kettleman City, Stanislaus Council of Governments and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District meetings in Modesto.
Over the last six months our social space has given us the opportunity to be here for the community on a daily basis with an open and comfortable place for people to find the resources and assistance they need from Know Your Rights cards to Tenant Rights handbooks, from live music to mental health meetings, from art supplies to bike-fixing tools. Community members without jobs or stable living conditions have found warm places to sleep simply from being able to use our phone and have filled out job application with our internet access. Students have written essays, studied for tests, and completed class projects. Concerned citizens have met to discuss issue and make plans for action. Homeless veterans of the Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars have built themselves bicycles from donated parts and found a pair of shoes at our monthly Free Market.
Most importantly, many these community members have now met others who strive for similar goals of social and environmental justice and have a space where they can discuss, debate, and build solidarity with their fellow citizens. We hope this helps build a culture of awareness and action in California’s Central Valley when it comes to confronting the various forms of inequality and injustice. With the ushering in of a new year Valley Improvement Projects hopes to continue its work in nurturing and helping grow along-side this culture and building a healthier and stronger Central Valley, California, and World for everyone living in it.
In addition to our grants for air quality and environmental justice work, the donations of time, money, resources, and materials from our volunteers, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members have led to our successful development and sustained our daily office hours and monthly events. V.I.P. is currently reaching out to our network of supporters who wish to give or help get monetary and material donations. Along with the need for funding to cover basic necessities like rent, electricity, heat, internet, stationary, cleaning supplies, etc. V.I.P. also accepts donations of non-perishable food, bicycles and bike parts, clothing, blankets, and shoes, as well as children’s toys and school supplies.
Ways to Donate:
Stop by for a visit and give it to us personally. Visit us at the Valley Improvement Projects Community Center for Social and Environmental Justice at 400 12th St. Suite 14 Modesto, CA 95354, hang-out, talk to a volunteer, check out the space, and drop-off a donation directly.
Go to the donation page of our fiscal sponsor, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (S.E.E.) at: http://saveourplanet.org/Donate.html and make sure you put “Valley Improvement Projects” in the box titled “Project Name” or visit: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=95-4116679 under “Program” choose “Other” and enter “Valley Improvement Projects” in the space for the program name.
Write us a check or money order. Make checks out to Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, put Valley Improvement Projects in the Memo line, and mail it to: Valley Improvement Projects 400 12th St. Suite 14 Modesto, CA 95354 or: Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs 23532 Calabasas Rd. Suite A Calabasas, CA 91302
Give us a call. An easy first step would be to pick up your phone and dial (209) 589-9277. One of our volunteers will help figure out the best way for you to donate on a one-time or monthly basis.
Send us an e-mail, Facebook message, or comment on our website. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://facebook.com/valleyimprovementprojects and https://valleyimprovementprojects.org/donate and contact us somehow. We will get back to you with all the information you need to accommodate you specific donation.
Valley Improvement Projects is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Please make checks payable to SEE/Valley Improvement Projects. If you are donating by credit card, please note that Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, or a variation of SEE, will show up on your credit card statement. Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
You can choose to give a one time donation or sign up for a reoccurring monthly or yearly donation, sign-up to receive information on upcoming events and projects. PLUS, IF YOU MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION OF $50 OR MORE, OR SIGN UP TO DONATE $20 OR MORE EVERY MONTH, YOU WILL RECIEVE A V.I.P. T-SHIRT MADE BY HAND AND SILK-SCREEN AT OUR COMMUNITY CENTER!!!
Thank you for your support in 2013 and we look forward to your support in 2014!!!