72 employees donate day of labor to PACC
Employee volunteers from SolarCity came from as far as Stockton and Bakersfield to clean up and organize the Porterville Area Coordinating Council’s (PACC) water station.
The group’s day began with a tour of drought-stricken East Porterville on two city buses. Then the volunteers gathered at the water station at the intersection of Date Avenue and Plano Street to hear about the work PACC volunteers have been doing, and to break into groups to organize bottled water donations, pull weeds and perform other tasks.
Elva Beltran, director of PACC, and her son Freddy Beltran Jr., a volunteer, discussed the drought-relief efforts, which have been underway since August.
Beltran Jr. spoke of a family that paid $20,000 for a new well but then didn’t have any money left for the plumbing. Beltran Jr. and volunteers connected the family’s home to the well.
After the tour, several members of the group expressed their shock at the suffering the drought has caused.
“When I was driving around in this, I was actually thinking this was a Third World [country],” said Brady Anderson of Stockton. “I was wondering why is this not a federal disaster? That’s what really gets me.”
Sonia Chavez, a Solar City account manager who lives in Porterville, is the person responsible for Thursday’s clean-up event. Chavez approached Elva Beltran asking how her company could help.
“We wanted to do something for the community,” Chavez said. “In my own backyard we have a drought problem and I wanted to bring awareness to the community.”