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Volunteers Make the World Go Round

December 6, 2017

“One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time”

In honor of International Volunteer Day, yesterday, December 6, we talked to a few of Paso Wine’s biggest volunteers and learned the “why” to why they volunteer.

Hear Jean Pedigo, VinVibe, and Maria Goldman, Frolicking Frog Cellars share their volunteering stories and recommend ways you can help this holiday season!

Jean Pedigo, VinVibe

What organization(s) are you involved in/volunteer with? I am on the Partner Advisory Board of Must! Charities. My husband, Jeff, and I are active with the Coats for Kids of SLO County here in the North County. I  run their Facebook page, and Jeff helps with the website and grants. We are also founding members of the Atascadero Printery Foundation and previously served on the Board.

What motivates/inspires you to volunteer? Since childhood, it was what you did in my family. I have first-hand, seen the value and importance and there is nothing more rewarding!

What is your favorite volunteer story (heartwarming, funny, etc.)? I think that would have to be recently when I was having a drink with Becky Gray, must! charities Executive Director and she told me about the poverty level in the North County of San Luis Obispo County and the effect on the children. We both started to shed a tear. A few minutes later she asked me if I wanted to be on the Partner Advisory Board and help effect change – I was like “heck yeah!”

What is your most rewarding volunteering experience? Recently this year, the Atascadero Printery Foundation secured the old Printery building in auction, and we can’t wait to see how this beautiful building becomes a fabulous resource for the community. It was a 2-year process.

How does working in the wine industry allow you to make time or be involved in volunteer work? must! charities is a perfect example. Many of the founders are winemakers, with a large percentage of our partners also in the wine industry. It starts to blend together in a charitable spirit – work and volunteering!

What skill have you learned volunteering that you’ve been able to apply in the wine industry? To get on the committees with the really great winemakers..haha! No seriously, a nice wine helps those meetings, but working as a team will always be a cornerstone of any volunteer organization!

What Paso wine do you enjoy after a day of volunteering? I send Jeff into the cellar blindfolded, he picks a bottle and we can’t go wrong. We belong to far too many Paso wine clubs and we drink well…when you live here, why drink anything else!

With the holiday season approaching, what charity do you recommend our readers support? (Include website, if possible) Definitely Coats for Kids!! It’s cold – some of these kids have never had a new coat ever. We get great donations, but always need more, whether monetary or gently-used clothing. www.coats-for-kids.net

Maria Goldman, Frolicking Frog Cellars

What organization(s) are you involved in/volunteer with? Paso Chamber of Commerce, Wines & Steins, Downtown Paso Wineries, CalFire Auxillary, Independent Grape Growers of Paso (just to name a few!).

What motivates/inspires you to volunteer? Giving makes living more loving, of course!

What is your favorite volunteer story (heartwarming, funny, etc.)?   That is easy to remember- the time I deliver a box of goodies from Loaves and Fishes to way out on a farm during the Christmas Holiday. It was getting dark, and I was not familiar with the area.  I was determined to make this delivery as it was one delivery that was being passed up because it was way out of town.  I had no GPS and little to go with the directions I was given.  I maintained my prayer that I would find my way and that this family needed this box of goodies.  In the end, I found the mobile home on this ranch way out in San Miguel.  The large family was so thankful! I received big hugs and a wrapped handmade soap from the Senora in the family; she said it was made with love.  I remember that was the best Christmas present I could ever be given.

What is your most rewarding volunteering experience?  Picking up a senior citizen in Los Osos at her dentist. I was the only number she could remember.  Apparently, her transportation company forgot her return trip home.  She lived in North Morro Bay, and I came all the way from Atascadero as I knew she was traumatized. We enjoyed a cup of hot tea and chatted for a bit to relax her.

How does working in the wine industry allow you to make time or be involved in volunteer work?  It just fits like a glove – enjoying meeting people, giving of your time and really being dedicated to talking about all the wonderful attributes here on the Central Coast – it is very easy and very complimentary.

What skill have you learned volunteering that you’ve been able to apply in the wine industry?  Patience, I would say.  No one always has a good day and learning to listen is key!

What Paso wine do you enjoy after a day of volunteering?  Well, of course, I could say my wine, Frolicking Frog Cellars is “my go to,” but after that, Donatoni Winery’s Sauret Zinfandel.

With the holiday season approaching, what charity do you recommend our readers support? (Include website, if possible) I am totally into Loaves and Fishes. They are far-reaching and have the best staff with big and compassionate hearts to make a better day in this community where is needed.