People often make the mistake of judging a college by its campus and overall location. Generally, if the buildings are large and if the setting is significant, then the college is regarded as more influential than one that is small and tucked away, such as Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center in Placerville.
Hidden behind Indian Creek School, the college is easily — and often —overlooked. This is where appearances are misleading. The center seems isolated but in reality it has more impact on the community.
The center provides programs and volunteer opportunities but the majority of these originate at the Student Activities Club. The blood drive, election forums, and SAC CARES are three of the continuing events hosted by the students from this club.
According to Anna Metzger, a student who assists in arranging the blood drive, only 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood, though more than 38,000 blood transfusions are needed daily. SAC hosts the blood drive to meet the need and to involve members of the community in providing for this need. This spring, the club has, for the first time, the opportunity to host two consecutive days of blood donations and it hopes to collect at least 60 pints of blood.
The saying, “Giving blood saves lives!” has become common enough for many to discount it as a mere slogan, but, in truth, every pint of blood donated is able to save up to three lives. The drive hosted at EDC allows people to donate at one simple location, and SAC provides free T-shirts and snacks for donors.
This semester’s drive will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Through the community’s participation SAC can meet its goals for this event and can continue providing blood products to meet future demands.
The blood drives are not the limit of EDC’s influence. SAC also hosts election forums at the college to provide community members with the opportunity to interact with candidates and candidates’ representatives, as well as receive information on current propositions.
Those who attend these forums can examine proposition details and can also submit written questions to the forum moderator to be answered by candidates. Since 2005, EDC has been hosting these forums for the community’s benefit. Candidates may often seem inaccessible for personal questions and propositions may often be unclear. The information gained through these events can help people make wise choices when the time comes to vote.
The college campus is not the only location where SAC events take place. SAC Community Activities and Recreation for Eskaton Seniors is a program developed and operated by SAC member Brian Clinton. Its goal is to serve the residents of the Eskaton establishment in Placerville by connecting EDC and local high school students with Eskaton seniors to create what CARES volunteer Erin Hadd describes as “lasting relationships.”
Faculty from the college donate time to teach workshops on various topics, and the students help organize other events for the residents, such as art exhibits. In addition to providing resources and learning opportunities for the Eskaton residents, the CARES program also allows volunteers to make a difference in others’ lives by serving and interacting with them. People of all ages are encouraged to volunteer, since extra help is always appreciated. Those interested can contact Erin Hadd at email@example.com.
These events are only a small sampling of the opportunities available to community members through the EDC. The college isn’t merely for students, but for everyone in El Dorado County. Anyone can participate in SAC-sponsored events. The campus may be small but the size and location do not inhibit the ability of the college and its students — especially the members of SAC — to offer resources and programs to assist the community.
Perhaps appearances aren’t as reliable as they seem. The EDC’s impact on the community cannot be measured by its size.