The gift of you
Money is great. If we have any extra, we ought to spread it out to help others. It is satisfying if done correctly, which means being guided by good intentions. But, don’t forget, we are also great. Even better than money. So we ought to give a little of ourselves, too.
Since you must go where you give yourself, joy in the results is immediate. Nobody has to send pictures or an annual letter detailing the marvelous effects of your giving. When you give the gift of you and see a smile, nothing is lost in translation and the “thank you” doesn’t end up in the landfill.
None of this crosses my mind as I sit in silent concentration with my little buddy from The Buddy Program, working intensely on a functioning Lego roller coaster that is requiring more time and effort than constructing a real one. We don’t talk as much as we did playing baseball this summer, but as we get to know each other better, our quiet connection is more authentic and meaningful. Being a mentor is not all talk. It is simply human connection: the greatest thing to give, and get.
There are many “little buddies” in our community who want to give you a tremendous gift. The hook is that becoming a mentor will make a lasting, positive difference in a young person’s life. The payoff for me is discovering a bigger, softer heart inside my chest pumping new life into my soul.
Every person who works or shops within Carbondale removes transportation pollution and congestion.
Every person who can walk or bike to work adds to demand for local mobility: good sidewalks, crossings, local shuttle. Remember, Carbondale existed before Aspen identified with skiing and culture. Coal, coking, transport of marble, potatoes, cattle, grain: all of those supported our town.
When I look around now, I see two viable industries: distilling and mountain bikes. There may be others not visible to me.
With the “Power of Four” nearby bike festival, local brands and bike shops, the expansion of LOVA (the Lower Valley Trail connecting Glenwood Springs with Parachute) and biking from Grand Junction to Moab, Carbondale could be a center for manufacturing innovation.
Access to I-70 is not great, but adequate. Importing parts from Taiwan cannot be cost efficient once all the externalities of mining and making steel for container ships, marine fuel and air pollution are priced in, and increasingly they will be.
Manufacturing line jobs lead to opportunities to improve part design, learn about testing and measurement, electronics, metal working and quality control.
Hospitality jobs lead to the same cooking, dishwashing and hotel room cleaning day after day. Let’s not hang our hat on tourism like 98% of small Colorado towns hope to do. What can our town board do in this direction?
The horrific fire in Louisville, Marshal and Superior makes it clear that every community needs a disaster plan. I don’t know if Carbondale, Basalt, Redstone, Marble or Aspen do.
Our Forest Service representatives need to meet with our local fire departments, police and town councils to help each community draft plans that we all understand, so that we know where to go in the instance of forest fires, the most likely scenario of natural disaster here.
McClure Pass was closed for four days recently. Independence is closed all winter. Interstate 70 closed several times in the past week due to accidents. If a fire roars, where do we go for safety?
Do we go to the nearest river if we can’t get out of town? We need to have serious plans made with expert advice, and all of us, including all schools, need access to them. We have few roads that are open to us. Please inform us through town meetings, local radio and newspapers. Please and thank you.
Holiday Baskets Program
The Holiday Baskets Program (www.holidaysketsprogram.com), run entirely by volunteers, was once again a joyful community effort. For 40 years this program has provided new gifts, toys and food for people in need in our valley.
The response this year was particularly generous and heartwarming, with many individuals and groups participating for the first time which enabled us to serve 347 families (1,345 individuals)! This included gifting over $40,000 worth of City Market food cards.
I especially wish to thank our Steering Committee; Elaine Bonds, Marsha Cook, Kathy Dreher, Elizabeth Parker and Bobbi Teliska, who spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with Adopting Angels and making sure all the gift bags were ready on pick-up day.
We also thank the 14 local agencies who referred the recipients and delivered their gift bags.
We are extremely grateful to Mike Garbarini who, once again, entered all the applications online so that we could operate virtually. In addition, we greatly appreciate St. Peter’s Episcopal Churc
h in Basalt for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts.
A recent quote from Angela Hanley, English in Action staff member, summarizes the hopes of the Holiday Baskets Program: “We are very grateful to all the Holiday Baskets volunteers and donors for their generosity, and for the greater message of care and compassion this program communicates in our valley.”
The “no one” of it.
Granite Peak and grizzly bears,
Back then we went there.