Globetrotting: Volunteers

Talented volunteers (Tom Moody, John Espinoza, and architect Bruce Binkley) build ore-car benches at the Old Dominion Mine Park

Globetrotting is a monthly column that highlights things I love about the San Carlos-Miami-Globe community.  Our focus this month is on the phenomenal local volunteers who add spark to our community, keep us clean and beautiful, and organize our regional events.  While not an immediately noticed part of what makes up our community, we wouldn’t be who we are without locals giving generously of their time and energy.  

Volunteerism is a powerful way to engage with our community, give from our hearts, and create this place where we love to live.  In an era of drastically reduced financial resources for cities and towns, volunteers step in to bridge gaps and provide essential services.  Through volunteering, average citizens can address issues and support causes that directly impact lives and community.   There are hundreds of local examples, but here are just a few…

Have you ever driven down Highway 60 and seen volunteers picking up trash?  Globe Clean and Beautiful volunteers organize clean-up events several times a year.  One person that does that work almost daily is David Sorenson.  Never paid and helping us look good for years, David sees the beauty and potential of our area and, without fanfare, faithfully serves our community.

Katelan Blindauer and Maia Green volunteering at a Farmer’s Market booth to raise money for a new dog park.

Have you ever noticed the lovely little triangle-shaped garden near the old Hill Street School in Globe? Dottie Durham has worked for years, investing her time and money, to create a bright spot of color because she loves our community and wants to invest in our greater good.  

Have you participated in Apache Ji’i, the Miami Fiesta, Cinco de Mayo, the Gila County Fair, the San Carlos Veteran’s Day events, Miami Loco Art Fair, STEM-fest or any events in the area?  These are planned by hundreds of local volunteers who give thousands of hours of work to create memorable and engaging events.  As a great example, the recent Old Dominion Days involved a year of planning and then, in just the first part of September, 33 people donated over 1,254 hours to make the event a smashing success.

Have you ever checked out power tools from our free Globe Tool Lending Library?  This award-winning, unique community resource was created totally by volunteers.  Even the “Old West” façade, needed to make the two large shipping container tool sheds compliant with the historic district zoning requirements, was built by volunteer craftsmen.

Volunteers from a Pentecostal church youth group clearing trails at the Old Dominion Mine Park

Have you ever visited the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park?  It was created through the labor of 234 volunteers over the last 19 years giving more than 5,362 hours of formal work worth $131,448.72 (per federal valuation rates).  When you add in the $384,221.58 of in-kind contributions and gifts from local individuals and businesses like 5D, Ajax, and Western Reprographics, this totals over half a million dollars of the $747,670 invested into the park to date.  

In 2018, volunteering in the United States hit an all-time high of 77.34 million adults who gave 6.9 billion hours of work worth $167 billion.  While impressive, volunteering in a small town is exponentially more valuable. As Jack Schultz wrote in Boomtown USA,  “Small towns have something that suburbs and big cities cannot possess, by nature of their size: in a small town, a person has a greater chance of truly making a difference.  Individual success in a small town can spill over into the whole town’s success.”

If you have volunteered or given of your resources to improve our community, you are part of why I love this place.  Please accept my heartfelt thanks.