Scottsdale citizens deserve special recognition as a community of caring individuals who give their time generously to a variety of worthy causes. In fact, as citizens give voice to their individual passions through volunteerism, their collective passions often define the priorities of our community.
I was reminded of community volunteerism when I read in City Manager’s 2014/15 Proposed Budget a report from each department on the hours volunteered by citizens (reading the fine lines of budgets is the kind of thing I do…I guess it’s in my genes!) Last year, almost 4,000 volunteers gave over 200,000 hours to help make our city services more robust and less expensive. This, of course, is in addition to the dozens of citizens who volunteered to serve on Council-created boards, commissions and task forces.
More than 400 volunteers helped out at the Granite Reef and Via Linda senior centers. Another 200 lent a helping hand at Vista del Camino and Paiute Neighborhood Center in the food banks, back-to-school and holiday programs. Teenagers and adult volunteers – more than 700! – worked in our libraries on the summer reading, children’s early literacy programs and as Friends of the Library.
Beyond direct contributions of time to city departments, many organizations who partner with the city also rely heavily on citizen volunteers. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy boasts an army of more than 400 volunteers who help provide public access to the Preserve, protect the Preserve through research and stewardship and increase the community’s understanding and appreciation of the Preserve through educational programs and community events.
The Scottsdale Cultural Council could never manage the city’s arts programs without the involvement of over 1,000 caring individuals. Their volunteer time extends to the Center for the Performing Arts, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Public Art programs.
Our spring training baseball stadium depends on countless hours of volunteerism by members of the Scottsdale Charros organization and the Scottsdale Healthcare hospital auxiliary. Non-profit organizations throughout the city make our community a better place to live…always relying on the generosity of volunteer hours: Scottsdale Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, STARS, and the list goes on…
Volunteers are the ambassadors who give our community a reputation for caring. To our citizen volunteers: I applaud your enthusiasm and thank you for your good work! The collective efforts of your helping hands make our city more livable, our city government more efficient and, very importantly, our taxes low…each a hallmark of my campaign. I ask for your vote and your support in the upcoming Council elections.