Building community is not only the province of government. Here in Orem, numerous worthy organizations seek to bring people together and create a better future. From national groups like the United Way and Habitat for Humanity to homegrown organization like the Parent Education Resource Center and Kids on the Move, these groups create meaningful change for Orem residents day after day and year after year.
The city of Orem has helped many of these organizations find funding for their work through locally-administered Community Development Block Grant and with money from Orem's CARE tax. But while funding is a crucial element of helping worthwhile causes, it's only a part of what these organizations need to achieve their missions and help Orem thrive as a community.
The recently-constructed All-Together Playground, shown above, is a powerful example of what we can accomplish when the city, local non-profits, and concerned citizens work together to make something amazing. Thanks to generous community donors and volunteers, the Playground was built in record time and is a dream come true for children who weren't able to play on standard play structures. In addition, it brought the community together in a way only service can.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community building organization. While the city already plays a minor role in helping residents find volunteer opportunities by sharing these on the city website, if elected I would seek to establish an Orem Volunteer Network, bringing together local nonprofits, city government, schools and neighborhoods to promote volunteer work and foster creative ideas for a better Orem. A volunteer-run Volunteer Network would benefit our community by helping draw attention to local organizations in need of help and by promoting civic engagement, especially among Orem youth.