Since 2011, Forest Folk, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been living out its mission to involve, enrich and empower community members 50 years of age and over.
This organization enhances the lives of seniors by providing activities that everyone can enjoy. It hosts free movie nights, takes shopping trips off the mountain and even made a trip or two to the casinos. They put on yard sales, craft sales and bake sales to help raise money to provide these services.
The biggest service they are currently providing is a free shuttle for those who need transportation to and from their homes, off the Hill for errands or doctors appointments and anything that is needed locally. Currently, they have two seven-passenger shuttles but are hoping to get another shuttle.
“We have applied for a grant to get a new shuttle,” said Forest Folk Board Secretary and Treasurer Reba Coulter. “We are keeping our fingers crossed we’ll hear something this month.”
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the group provides local door-to-door service in the Pine Cove, Idyllwild and Mountain Center areas. On Mondays, they provide rides to and from Palm Desert and Palm Springs, and on Wednesdays, rides to and from Hemet.
The group gives rides to the monthly free community lunch held at Town Hall. There are also plans in the works to offer rides to the food bank events at Calvary Chapel Mountain Center and the Church of Latter-day Saints in Idyllwild.
In recent years, Forest Folk has been struggling to keep volunteers to help provide services to those most in need.
“We are looking for people with willing hands and loving hearts to help others, and in turn, we will be able to continue to provide enjoyable events,” Forest Folk Board President Angela Colson said. “But for now, the main thing we can do with our limited members is just work for our community and keep the free shuttle running to meet as many needs for free as we can. We just need more people that will work with us and we can do more community events like we used to.”
The Forest Folk board is made up of President Angela Colson, Secretary and Treasurer Reba Coulter and Chairperson Ira Chomsky. In addition, there are three members that help keep Forest Folk operating.
Local shuttle rides can be made the same day, but reservations for rides off the mountain are required by calling 951-426-9688. The shuttle runs between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you are interested in helping, participating, learning more about Forest Folk or viewing the shuttle schedule, visit forestfolk.org.