With calendars turned to February, residents of the San Lorenzo Valley can expect to see a familiar heart-shaped thermometer sign tracking the amount of money raised by Mountain Community Resources’ annual Phone-athon in downtown Felton.
Now in its 28th year, the monthlong fundraiser is one of the two largest sources of revenue — along with the annual Italian Affair dinner — for the community support organization and its advocacy and education programs.
According to Program Director Jennifer Anderson-Ochoa, last year’s Phone-athon raised about $36,000 for the organization, $4,000 more than the organization’s goal.
“All the money goes to our programs here and to keep our doors open,” she said.
The fundraiser began Monday, Feb. 4, and continues throughout the month, with volunteers working phones between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Amanda Robinson, coordinator of the fundraising drive, said she is still seeking volunteers to make phone calls. She said community organizations can also sign up groups of volunteers.
As more calls are made, she said a duct-tape line on the sign at the intersection of Graham Hill Road and Highway 9 would be updated to reflect the value of pledges received.
“It’s always a fun thing to watch the duct tape rise,” she said.
Robinson said phone volunteers compete for weekly prizes for getting the most dollars pledged, including gift cards to Redwood Pizzeria.
In addition to the fundraising drive, Anderson-Ochoa said Mountain Community Resources is converting the front portion of its downtown Felton building into a food pantry.
With a freezer, a refrigerator and space for dry food storage, the pantry will allow MCR to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute food more frequently to those who need it, she said.
Proceeds from the Phone-athon and the Italian Affair give the organization a $300 monthly budget to buy food to give away, Anderson-Ochoa said. The nonprofit hopes to have the pantry in full operation by the end of February.
Meanwhile, local mural artist Will Northcutt has been working since November on a large, three-panel mural that will be mounted on the façade of the MCR headquarters.
Northcutt, whose work can be seen in several places in Felton, is working from an image designed by staff members and teenagers from MCR’s teen probation program that depicts the community the organization serves.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for awhile,” Anderson-Ochoa said of the mural. “We wanted it to represent what we do and the community where we work.”
Many people affiliated with Mountain Community Resources, including founding member Mary Hammer, can be seen in the mural, which Anderson-Ochoa said would likely be completed in the next several weeks.
For information: Phone-athon inquiries, 335-6609; general information, www.communitybridges.org/mountaincommunity.htm.To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at email@example.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.