Most Viewed Stories
Art and Michelle Cota
Name: Art and Michelle Cota.
Family: Three children, Samuel, Ty and Kennison.
Occupation: He is a retired firefighter; she is a teacher at CORE at Camptonville Academy.
How long have you lived in the Yuba-Sutter area? Since 2001.
Hobbies, interests: He enjoys hunting and fishing, she does digital scrapbooking, and both golf and hike.
For what groups do you volunteer? Both have volunteered with the Gridley Little League for the past 10 years, with his work including as president and coach and hers as volunteer coordinator, public information and scorebook keeper.
Overall, he has volunteered with Little League for 20 years and with the Gridley Titans football team for a couple of years.
Both have volunteered at Manzanita School and Gridley High School — they just spent a few months working on the school bond Measure C and have been working on Measure G for about three months.
The school bonds are to support the community, Art said, "Not just our kids but the kids who will attend in the future."
Both also volunteer at their church, Calvary Chapel in Gridley, helping with Sunday school, doing maintenance and making meals.
"You can't not" volunteer at a church, Michelle said. "You see people doing something, you've got to help."
At their previous residence, in Elk Grove, they were looking for a church and what it could do for them, Michelle said. "When we moved, we changed our perspective" and decided what could we do for the church.
Art has also been a member of the Lions Club for about three years. Most of his volunteer work had focused on Little League, he said, and he wanted to find an avenue to have a broader impact in the community.
Art said he started volunteering when he was 14 years old, coaching his brother's Little League team, and in high school helped with homes that were built with "sweat equity." As a firefighter, he said, "You help people, not only at work but also off."
Michelle put together a basketball team for their sons when they were in middle school that is still going and in the past was with the Friends of the Library in Gridley.
Both said that the idea of volunteering is something they learned from watching their parents and hope to pass it on to their children.
How do you fit volunteering into your schedule? The kids are very gracious, Art and Michelle said — "They rarely have both of us at once," she added — but they are the couple's first priority.
Words of advice: Just start, Art said. Sometimes people tend to make things too complicated. ... "Once you start, you realize there's lots of things that need to be done. You don't need to have special talents to help."
When people volunteer, they're not just doing stuff, Michelle said. "You're hanging out with your friends, having a fun time."
Why be a volunteer? "If you ever are feeling blue, all you have to do is go to church, volunteer. It gets you outside your own little world," said Michelle.
"Volunteering is a win-win situation — you help other people and get self-gratification from being able to help other people," Art said.
Quote: "(Volunteering) becomes so much part of your life you don't think of it as projects." — Michelle.