Arroyo Grande Coast News News

We Heart AG, Giving Back to Those Who Give By Mark A. Diaz

In an effort to provide people who want to help the community but don’t have the time to commit to a non-profit for an entire year, Arroyo Grande City Council member and founder of the Tree Guild of Arroyo Grande, Kristen Barneich helped create the first annual We Heart AG. Barneich hopes to show people that they can make a big impact in a short amount of time.
“These people who can maybe volunteer once or twice a year, this is their event,” said Barneich.
The event invites people to come out on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22 and donate a few hours to the non-profits and organizations that serve the Arroyo Grande community. Happening from 8:30 a.m. to noon, volunteers will meet at the Heritage Square Park located at 300 Branch St., Arroyo Grande.
Donated coffee and baked goods will be offered from 8-8:30 a.m. at the park as volunteers meet their team leaders and get specifics of their projects. During that time, Arroyo Grande City Manager Jim Bergman will address the crowd.
“These non-profits and the school district and the city, they’re always doing for other people,” said Barneich, “and I think I really wanted to try to give back to them because they really do so much for Arroyo Grande.”
The event is comprised of 15 separate projects that are designed to only take 3 hours to complete some of which are already filled. Each job each has a team leader heading the project. There is also a signup sheet to give blood for those who are unable to dedicate a full 3 hours.
Though the majority of jobs listed are teen and child friendly, such as baking cookies for AGPD and FCFA or putting together a greenhouse for Lopez High School, some are only for adults, for instance planting 34 trees for the Tree guild of Arroyo Grande and the Arroyo Grande in Bloom job that involves cleaning and planting the embankment on Paulding Curve. Other projects involve weeding, picking up trash and painting AG school grounds.
“A lot of people want to volunteer, I’ve heard,” said Barneich who is also a mother of two teenage girls, “and they want to bring kids…so we tried to have a mix so that the whole family can come out and help with some of the jobs.”
Barneich pointed out that not all non-profit being helped have an Arroyo Grande ZIP Code, such as Meals On Wheels or the 5 Cities Coalition, but they do serve the community in some capacity.
For more information, visit weheartag.com. A full list of opportunities and descriptions are is available under the “Sign Up Now” Tab.

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