Want to learn more about our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Nevada County? Tune in to our local FCAT station and watch a video that will bring you up to date on this affiliate’s 6-year history. The program will be aired Thursday at 3 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m.

The Neighborhood Center of the Arts is looking for volunteers to assist on field trips and in the classroom. If you have artistic abilities, gardening expertise, or enjoy working in a woodshop, call the center to volunteer as your schedule permits. Volunteers are also needed to assist at art shows, street fairs, and during the county fair at the NCA booth, etc. The center is a day program of art and living skills activities for adults with developmental disabilities. Call 272-7287 or stop by 200 Litton Drive (rear entrance) for a volunteer packet.

The Nevada County Literacy Council will hold a tutor training workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18 and 25 at the Lutz Center, 714 W. Main St., Grass Valley. Room location will be posted inside. Attendance at both sessions is required. A $15 materials fee will be charged.

The council provides one-to-one tutoring to any county resident age 18 or older. Volunteer tutors do not need previous teaching experience, nor be bilingual. A one-year commitment to the program is required.

Call 274-8428 to sign up. Attendance will be limited.

Annuities will be the topic of discussion by Dennis Regan of Westland Financial Service at Wednesday’s luncheon of the Gold Country Estate Planning Council. The council is dedicated to fostering community awareness of the benefits of estate planning and to promote long term, ongoing relationships with local estate planning professionals. The luncheon is at Christopher’s Catering, 408 Colfax Avenue starting at 11:45 a.m. An RSVP to Terry Brown at 265-0266 is required. The general public and estate planning professionals are invited. Tickets are $13 each.

The Pet Adoption League is looking for a few cat lovers who can trap feral cats, transport them to the spay/neuter clinic, and/or let them recuperate in their homes for about a week before being released back to the areas where they live. PAL will provide the recuperation cage and all supplies, including food, for these services. PAL also needs foster homes. Everything is provided, including food, food bowls, litter, litter boxes, any meds, and vet bills are also covered. Volunteers are also needed to help the elderly or disabled with feral (wild) cats. For more details, call 273-7958 or e-mail PAL at

Many of our county’s nonprofit organizations are experiencing a decline in contributions compared to last year. The long list of reasons for this includes a weak economy, lost jobs, a decline in stock valuations, etc. Another concern of potential donors is concern about how money is handled. Worthy organizations are finding themselves with less money at a time when their services are most needed. The United Way urges you to do your own research. Check the legitimacy of 850,000 nonprofit organizations on GuideStar’s Web site at The United Way of Nevada County (267-9082), as well as other Nevada County nonprofits, can be found there. The Wise Giving Alliance ( posts 500 detailed reports on national charities evaluated according to its 23 charity standards. United Way of Nevada County and all other worthy nonprofit organizations need your help now, more than ever. Please give locally.

Pam Fortner is a freelance writer in Grass Valley. Her column on nonprofits appears each Monday. Deadline for information is 5 p.m. each Wednesday. The column will appear in the following Monday edition. Send information to Pamela Fortner at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945; e-mail

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