What Makes Sedona, Arizona Tick? Volunteers!
It’s Saturday morning at 7:30 am. Highway 89A west of Sedona Red Rock High School is dotted with people in bright yellow vests, holding big blue bags and wearing orange gloves. The volunteers are scouring the landscape collecting litter tossed from the vehicles of visitors coming to and leaving Sedona.
These volunteers are not compensated for their service and expect nothing in return. Without these volunteers, as well as other Sedona organizations picking up the litter, Sedona would not be as scenic, clean, and attractive for our visitors.
On this particular day, these volunteers are members of the Rotary Club of Sedona and the Red Rocks Rotary Club. They frequently volunteer for this and many other community initiatives.
If it weren’t for our volunteers, Sedona would not be able to provide the world class visitor experience that it does. Hundreds of local residents volunteer every day. There are volunteers helping tourists find their way around Sedona at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center; volunteer park rangers walk the streets of Uptown Sedona helping visitors; volunteers assist the senior population at the Sedona Community Center; still other volunteers help the Sedona police with tasks such as traffic control at special events. Sedona volunteers operate the Sedona Heritage Museum; others assist with the Sedona Arts Center and provide critical support to the many arts organizations serving the community. Literally hundreds of volunteers donate their time to the Sedona City government to serve on committees and task forces facing a wide variety of issues. Citizens volunteer efforts to the City of Sedona have just been recognized by the International City Management Association as one of the leading citizen volunteer programs in the country.
Regarding the volunteer highway cleanup, you will find interspersed among the volunteers: the Fire District Chief, the owner of a local restaurant, a world-renowned sculptor, the owner of a publishing company, and other notable professionals and business owners who understand the importance of giving back to the community. Volunteerism is what makes Sedona work, and even though many of the volunteers on this day have other important jobs and professions demanding their attention, they understand the importance of volunteerism. Every community relies on volunteerism, but clearly the importance of volunteerism in Sedona surpasses that of other communities. As a relatively small community of approximately 11,000 residents but with 3 million annual tourists, without the resources of volunteers, Sedona could not successfully function and provide the services to its visitors.
Another example of volunteers making an impact is the signature project of the Rotary Club of Sedona, the Imagination Library. Through the Imagination Library, every child ages 0-5 years who is registered by his/her parent or guardian receives a free, age-appropriate book once a month. Funds raised through club activities are invested back into this and other projects that benefit the local, national, and international community.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Sedona, visit www.SedonaRotary.org.
Article by Tim Ernster for Gateway To Sedona.