Local women organizing volunteer and nonprofit matching event on Jan. 10
I am an enthusiastic fan of grass-roots community building efforts in which ordinary citizens take bold steps to make a difference and invite others to join them to help create a culture of contribution. A perfect example of this is the Be the Change Wenatchee group, which was started by five local women who are seeking to promote and encourage volunteerism in our valley. Check out their Facebook page for details.
This will give community members who attend the free public event, sponsored by Pybus University, an opportunity to learn about volunteer opportunities with organizations like the Wenatchee Valley Literacy Council, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Alathia Riding Center, Columbia Valley Community Health and others.
Besides Tackman and Safar, the group’s founders include Sally Freed, Jennifer Burke and Patty Stanford. This high-powered group of doers has come together to see what they can do to build a greater sense of community ownership. This model of citizen groups forming to make a difference is becoming a major theme in the Wenatchee Valley. For example, the grass roots-driven Our Valley Our Future community improvement effort is driven by the same community-based ethos.
Safar said the group wants to empower people to figure out what volunteer efforts they are passionate about and give them support and encouragement to put that passion to work with a local nonprofit. Safar has a history of community-building work. She ,worked in a Seattle-area community health office that provided refugee resettlement assistance and spent two years in the Dominican Republic managing interns who were doing social science research in international development. She’s currently applying to nursing school.
Tackman, also a local product, has spent time in Japan and India and traveled all over the world. She and Safar played lacrosse together and were coached by Freed.
Ultimately, the Be the Change group is about trying to make the community better. “The society is not going to change unless you do something,” Safar told me.
It’s that commitment to community building that I find inspirational.