Volunteerism Alive And Well In Cottonwood Heights

Volunteerism Alive And Well In Cottonwood Heights
Posted on 09/02/2015
By Council Member Mike Peterson

Shortly after Cottonwood Heights became a city a little more than ten years ago, I realized the overwhelming importance of volunteerism in shaping and defining the city’s values. I’ve seen it even more clearly during the last four years while I’ve served as a city councilman. It’s not just those who support and volunteer in various capacities directly related to the city that make such an impact, but also the thousands who volunteer throughout the community. Unpaid volunteers are said to be the glue that binds a community together, and I believe it’s true.

Volunteering allows us to connect to our community and make it a better place for all who live within it. Even helping with the smallest task can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Volunteering is a win-win situation that can help you and your family as much as it benefits the program or cause you choose to support.

In recent months, I’ve been extremely impressed with the many volunteers who donate thousands of hours per year supporting city-sponsored activities, functions, and events, such as the production of the annual play by the arts council, the installation of historic markers on the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail by the historic committee, or the more than 200 volunteers who helped plan and implement this year’s Butlerville Days celebration.

Volunteers are also instrumental in staffing Cottonwood Heights’ Planning Commission, Architectural Review Committee, Board of Adjustment, Neighborhood Watch, and Emergency Preparation committee. Each time I have an opportunity to meet with any of these groups I can feel the passion and dedication each person has for their area of responsibility.

Volunteerism is also flourishing throughout our city in many other areas. I’m always impressed with the moms and dads in our community who spend hours on end teaching and coaching youth sports. It can be anything from water polo or lacrosse to baseball, soccer, and basketball. Again, there are thousands of hours donated to serving thousands of youth, all in an attempt to make our little area of the valley a better place to live.

We have PTA presidents and their boards who support our school communities. We have those who volunteer each year to read Dr. Seuss to local elementary students. There are the Boy Scouts who are constantly finding ways to serve by completing Eagle Projects in our parks and throughout our community. There are those who volunteer with the correctional system working at various detention centers serving at-risk youth, as well as those who deliver meals to the homebound and elderly. The list of opportunities to serve is endless.

There are those who also take volunteerism to an even higher level. We have one particular citizen who volunteers with the American Red Cross and often travels great distances throughout the world to serve those in need of his help.

If you haven’t found the time to become involved in volunteering in some capacity, it’s never too late. Start today by contacting the city offices, the public library, or local youth sports organizations, just to name a few. Even the smallest act of service can have a monumental impact on those we serve. It also connects us with others in the community. It’s good for our minds and bodies and can add purpose and happiness to our lives. Thanks to all of you who serve and to those looking to serve in the future.