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Dozens of volunteers aid Love Valley Home effort
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Doing some weeding work at the edge of the Valley Home community park, Becky Taylor was among the volunteers turning out for the Love Valley Home work day on April 20. She is an administrative assistant at Valley Home School. Marg Jackson/The Leader

The small community of Valley Home got a little love on Saturday.

While many cities around the region are gearing up for their ‘Love’ events on April 27, the Love Valley Home effort was undertaken on Saturday, April 20.

The work saw dozens of volunteers turn out, with the main project being the sprucing up of the small community park, which also features a covered pavilion and picnic tables.

Serving as co-chairs for the event were Jessica Caudle and Amanda Beltrami; both were pleased with the turnout and the work accomplished.

“Love Valley Home really exists to bring our community together; the idea is really to help out a neighbor,” said Caudle. “We have a beautiful community with a lot of great hearts and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out ways to support, so that’s our goal, is just to bring this to the community and give us the opportunity to be able to support each other.”

Along with the crew working at the park, there were two dumpsters set up near the school, for residents to utilize during the day for household and yard waste disposal if they were doing a spring-cleaning effort.

Caudle said focusing on the park was an easy decision, as it is a focal point.

“Today’s effort is to clean up our Valley Home park, we do a lot of events here, we also rent out this space for parties but more importantly, our community gathers here for various celebrations including National Night Out so the goal is just to really clean it up and make it a space we can use all summer long,” Caudle explained. “We have a lot of exciting plans to make it an even more inviting space; we’re looking to expand and improve.”

Beltrami said they had more volunteers than they expected, but they weren’t complaining.

“My thought is that maybe they didn’t know where to get involved with Valley Home and since we, mainly Jessica, spearheaded this, it gave them an opportunity to come out and be a part,” Beltrami said. “Not everybody grew up in volunteering or is familiar with how to get involved so we just gave them the opportunity to really rally and be part of the community.”

Stanislaus County District 1 Supervisor Buck Condit stopped by Saturday morning as well.

“My part in this is very small, I just helped provide the dumpsters,” Condit said. “The community members of Valley Home are the ones that did all the work out here and the community at large, bringing in trash they want to get rid of. But really, it’s the community of Valley Home that does all the work … they keep everything together and tight.”

Volunteer Carmen Bautista, a sophomore at Oakdale High School, was also on hand, after learning about the volunteer opportunity through school.

“I like helping out,” she said, as she utilized a sander to help smooth down the picnic tables under the pavilion. “This year I’ve been doing more (volunteering) than last year.”

Also on the job was Becky Taylor of Ripon, who works as an administrative assistant at Valley Home School. She was helping get rid of weeds in the community park.

“It’s fun to see the transformation,” she said.

About 40 volunteers helped out at various times during the work day, which ran from 8 a.m. to noon on April 20.

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Pausing for a moment to join in for a photo, this group of volunteers was on the job for a few hours Saturday morning, April 20 in Valley Home. The work day drew about 40 volunteers in total. Marg Jackson/The Leader
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One of the tasks for the Love Valley Home effort was to sand down and smooth out the picnic tables under the pavilion at the community park. Working on that task here is Carmen Bautista, a sophomore at Oakdale High School. Marg Jackson/The Leader