For the past three years Vista Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization (VLPNO) has supported a program called Build-A-Bike that is overseen by Riverside County Family Services (RCFS). RCFS help people who are in need of assistance. On a daily basis people come into their office who need help paying for electricity, heating, food and everyday necessities. It is run by the County of Riverside to help people over a rough period in their lives until they can get on their feet, and it is very strictly monitored.
At Christmas time people and organizations donate to the Build-A-Bike Fund and Larry Singh, the director at RCFS, purchases and assembles bikes for kids whose family cannot afford to buy them a bike. Riverside County Family Services compiles a list of families, (number and ages of kids) that meet their criteria. Family names are put into a hat when the time comes to pick the recipients. The family is contacted and given a time to come and “see Santa”.
Each bike has a sign with the child’s name and the donor’s name. They give 2 wheelers, some with training wheels if needed, 3 wheelers for the small kids and teddy bear’s for those too young for a bike. Each bike, whether a 2 or 3 wheeler comes with a helmet. Infants get car seats and the police make sure they installed correctly.
Sheila Cobrin attended the Santa event in December. She says, “All in all it is a wonderful event that really makes you feel good to have a child come up to you and give you a hug or a kiss and say thank you. Wide eyes and smiles say so much.”
VLPNO’s Membership Dues make it possible for us to participate in this most needed and appreciated program. Thank you Members!
Howard Hawkes has graciously agreed to chair the VLPNO Social Committee again this year. Two “Happy Hour” events were held in 2016 – one at Dish and one at Rendezvous at the Arrive Hotel.
We hope to have even more events in 2017. Stay tuned!
Bear with us during our transition. Last winter, our board voted to upgrade our website www.vistalaspalmas.org which hadn’t been modified since its inception.
With support from Imagine It! Media of Palm Springs, we created a user-friendly site that permits us to make changes/additions/deletions without the need to pay a web designer. The site has a place for resources you may need, such as phone numbers for code enforcement, vacation rental hotline, trash removal, etc.
The new site includes automatic invoicing for membership and annual renewals, utilizing PayPal. You can still join the old-fashioned way, by check, as well.
Prior to the new site, newsletters took considerable time to mail out. Because of spam filters on so many computers, we had to click, click, click each email address manually. And even then we had problems with rejections and returns. Our new web site will quickly do our mailings for us.
We’re a neighborhood that cares. Since we started our VLP home tours, we have donated over $100,000 to local charities. This year we gave over $16,000. The charities were selected with consideration of: mission, need, number of clients served, and low or no overhead.