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Recycle your talents and volunteer at event

Pagosa Springs has more than 50 community and non-profit organizations.

These organizations include civic and governmental agencies, historic, social, education, emergency and assistance groups servicing youth, seniors, animals, veterans, tourists and the general public.

The lifeblood of Pagosa Springs is the volunteer base, and volunteer organizations in our community are always in need of bodies. Volunteers can be full- or part-time residents fulfilling all levels of commitment, even serving for one-day events. Groups can use help with events, fund-raisers, board positions, organizational growth and myriad other needs.

On Saturday, April 14, in conjunction with the Southwest Organization for Sustainability’s Earth Day Celebrations, the Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the first Volunteer Recruitment Day.

Currently, over 20 non-profit organizations will be on hand to participate in this event. What is so great about this event is that people can find out about volunteer opportunities in one place; they can sign up to help one or multiple organizations, and they can try and match time requirements and passion with the right group — all in one location, on one day.

Often, residents don’t know what groups or volunteer opportunities are available in our community. Some groups need seasonal help, some groups want youth volunteers, some groups need business or developmental guidance, many organizations need more specialized talents (like search and rescue) but are willing to train people, and some groups need help for only one day!

The Recycle Your Talents: Volunteer Event will take place in Town Park on April 14, from noon to 6 p.m. While you are coming out to enjoy the E-cycle and Earth Day celebrations, find out if there is an organization you would like to donate some time to. If you’re not sure about signing up to volunteer right then and there, you will be able to take home a booklet that describes all the organizations that are participating in the event, mark off the groups that are of interest to you, and someone from that organization will get back to you with more information.

Pagosa Springs has an organization to fit almost any need. Pagosa is also filled with very talented and giving individuals — youth and adult. There are also many people who volunteer for multiple organizations. However, there is always need for assistance.

If you would like to find out how you can volunteer, attend this fun and informational afternoon organized by numerous community agencies. Every hour of giving helps; no amount of participation is too small. Recycle Your Talents: Volunteer!

Reuse and recycle

I always get a kick out of the saying printed on the Trader Joe bags: “If I hang this bag up as a picture — is it reusing or recycling?”

In either case, you’re helping out the environment.

Come to Town Park on Saturday, April 14, for fun, music, food and, of course, information concerning ways to live a less wasteful, more sustainable lifestyle.

Southwest Organization for Sustainability will produce this day at the park, with activities for adults and children from noon to 6 p.m.

Archuleta County will take the lead with the Chamber assisting to host the third annual E-Cycle event on both Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can recycle cell phones, laptops, TVs, monitors, keyboards, cables, power cords, printers, batteries, and even CFL and LED light bulbs. Some of the items, such as TVs, monitors, laptops, printers and CPUs, will have a fee associated with recycling. Pagosa Springs is able to hold the e-cycle event due to the participation of the Durango Recycling Facility. However, they charge to recycle many electronic items. It is good to get your garage or office cleaned out and know the item is being disposed of in a responsible manner, without filling up the landfill.

The E-cycling will take place at the athletic field at Town Park. There will be easy access to recycling, and assistance to help you with your goods. Larger items, like office printers and fax machines, can be recycled, but there will be a charge per pound. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

April Business Bites

Business Bites is back on track for the month of April.

These monthly learning luncheons are held to keep our businesses informed of the latest trends, services and business improvement suggestions. This month, we will focus on the financial aspect of your business and credit card processing.

Credit card acceptance and processing isn’t what it used to be. Is your business PCI compliant? If you don’t know what that means, your business may be subject to a very large fine. Do you take credit card numbers to hold reservations or order merchandise over the phone? Do you destroy or have a system in place to protect these numbers? If you are a food service provider and have temporary or off-site service and take credit cards, does your business have the capability to take mobile credit cards? If you are an event organizer, can you accept credit cards on site?

Tammy Wilde, with Nationwide Payment Solutions, will be our guest speaker. Tammy will review some of the PCI guidelines and what you can do if you think you are not in compliance or have not received any notification from your current credit card processor. Tammy will also review some of the latest technology for mobile credit card acceptance. You may need a mobile printer or you may be able to send a receipt to the purchaser via e-mail. Tammy has options for you and your business.

Credit card handling and processing is very serious business for your business these days and Tammy is here to help you. Make sure you take it seriously by attending the April Business Bites luncheon at the Westside Visitor Center on Tuesday, April 17, at noon. To make sure we have ordered enough food, please R.S.V.P. to the Chamber at 264-2360. The cost is $7 per person for members and $10 for non-members.

Also, mark your calendars for the May Business Bites on May 15, when a representative from San Juan Basin Health will be our guest speaker. Just in time for summer, the health department will be working with offsite food vendors and getting non-profit agencies up to speed on catering and food preparation at special events. Stay tuned for more information on the May business luncheon.

Membership

We had a full house last month for the Maximizing Your Membership lunch class and already have members signed up for the class to be held this month, on April 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. See how your Chamber membership can better work for you in this free 1 1/2-hour lunch class. Call the Chamber to reserve your spot.

We have one new member to welcome to the chamber this week. Lynne Vickerstaff and Little Weedz offers her clever children’s clothing designs to the public. Lynne’s clothes are currently for children up to 10 years of age. Her clothing grows with the children through clever ruffle additions, extra button holes and lace-up expansions, just to name a few tricks. The clothing is colorful and versatile and extends the life of the dress through these creative “growing” design techniques. Little Weedz also has American Doll matching clothing coordinates in a number of designs. Check out some of the local stores for Lynne’s merchandise or visit her online at www.littleweedz.com.

Our renewals this week include Buckskin Towing and Repair; Mary Jo Hannay with Concierge Real Estate Services; and Jeff Bouwer with Flying Dutchman construction. Non-profit agencies renewing are Axis Health System and GECKO, producer of the Pagosa Peak Trail Race series, the River Festival in May and many other events. James Walton with Pagosa Conferences also renews his membership this week.

We appreciate all the business owners who attended the March SunDowner at the Westside Visitor Center. People got to see the new facility and hear about our plans.

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