Another View: Local nonprofits make wishes for new year

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With a new year upon on us, a few local nonprofit organization leaders have shared what they hope to accomplish in 2011. A better economy Ken Tokutomi, chairman of the Auburn Salvation Army’s advisory board, said he hopes for a better economy. He said that people who the Salvation Army has helped succeed and who were then donating to the nonprofit are unfortunately once again clients due to the poor economy. Tokutomi also noted that the organization is spending $4,000 a month on food. “That’s a direct relationship on the poor economy and people not having enough money to feed their families at the end of the month,” Tokutomi said. “I wish that would be rectified.” Tokutomi added he’d also like to see a larger homeless shelter in the county and more temporary shelters set up to help shield the homeless population during extreme weather conditions. A new home for pets The Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking shelter for the county’s four-legged companion animals. “I’d like to see fewer numbers of homeless animals coming into our center in the coming year because they are in loving homes and because people are understanding the importance of spaying and neutering their companion pets,” said Leilani Vierra, CEO of the Placer SPCA. Vierra added that Placer SPCA is looking forward to the 2011 grand opening of their pet adoption and resource center in Auburn. “So we’re really wishing for volunteers to help us with that new project,” Vierra said. An end to homelessness The Gathering Inn’s mission is to provide physical, spiritual and mental restoration so everyone can go to the next best level of their life. The Inn’s executive director, Suzi de Fosset, said she hopes the nonprofit can continue serving those in need and share its mission with more residents of Placer County. “We need to educate people more on how homelessness happens,” de Fosset said. “There are so many people in this community who are one paycheck away from being homeless.” A new resource center in Roseville will help the Gathering Inn reach out to more people, de Fosset added. In addition to wanting to help people in need, de Fosset has an even greater wish for 2011. “I hope to put an end to homelessness,” de Fosset said. “That would be a great thing that we wouldn’t need any shelters. Put me out of work, please.” Making the good better PEACE for Families has helped victims of sexual and domestic violence in our community for years. In 2011, the volunteers and staff who maintain the nonprofit hope to make their current level of service to the community even greater. “We have so many existing programs that we’re really focused on continuing to do what we do and do it really well,” said Amanda Kodet, community affairs associate for PEACE for Families. “2011 is not about expanding, it’s about doing what we do even better.” Kodet added that the organization hopes that victims of violence will know they’re not alone. “Probably our biggest wish is that everyone in Placer County, every victim of sexual or domestic violence knows that PEACE for Families is there and we’re a resource and ready to help,” Kodet said. “No matter what has happened to them, it’s not their fault.” Kodet added that the organization hopes to continue working with supporters. “We’ve been so fortunate with the support from the community,” Kodet said. “We want to find new ways to foster that relationship and to continue building strong relationships in the community.” ------------ How to help If you’d like to help some of the area’s nonprofits, here’s how you can get in touch: • The Auburn Salvation Army, 286 Sutter St., Auburn, (530) 889-3990 • The Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 150 Corporation Yard, Roseville, (530) 885-7387 • The Gathering Inn, 201 Berkeley Avenue, Roseville, (916) 791-9335 • PEACE for Families, 11960 Heritage Oaks, Suite 15, Auburn, (530) 885-0443