One of the hardest questions I get asked is, “How do I get involved?” I’m not sure why it’s so hard except perhaps that it’s like trying to tell someone what their hobby should be. Some find certain aspects extremely interesting and some find them totally boring. For instance, I enjoy council meetings but others would rather be harpooned to a telephone pole than attend council. Below are some ideas:
Help is always needed at the neighborhood level. The city has 34 neighborhoods each with a chair and vice chair. Some of the most important work in our City is done by the Neighborhood Chairs. Call your neighbor chair or call the Provo City Neighborhood Program Coordinator at 801-852-6122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A great start to getting involved is to get to know your city council. This group impacts your life in a significant way. Among many other things they set the policy that governs the city. Invite them to speak to your group, email them your opinions, send them a thank you card or attend council meetings. Do what you find of interest but either way they love to hear from you and interact with our residents. You’ll find them extremely approachable. In 2011 we have elections for the municipal council and this year four seats are up for election and in three of the seats the incumbent will not be running again. If running for council is not your thing the quickest way I know to get deeply involved is to volunteer on a campaign. You’ll get to know the candidate and issues faster than any way I know.
Many citizens and business people in Provo serve on a variety of city boards and commissions. If you have an interest in serving your community, applying for a position on a city board or commission is a great place to start. Boards and commissions are listed on the city web site. If you feel you would be interested in serving, review the list of boards and then use the link at the bottom of each board page to submit your application.
Provo is rich with nonprofit organizations. Want to help feed the homeless, fill the food bank, tutor or just about anything else? There is a place to do that. Not sure where to begin? Contact the United Way.
The Parks and Recreation Department is always looking for volunteers. You can work on a trail, be a coach, adopt a flower bed or help at a special event. Email the department volunteer coordinator for details.
Don’t see anything that appeals to you? Use your imagination and creativity. The city is full of opportunities.