By Shawn Spencer
One of the truest signs of a solid community, a community that draws people to it, is the generosity of its residents. Residents that donate their time in support of their town are the glue that holds it together. Volunteering your time allows you to connect with your community and make it a better place. The City of Monrovia offers many opportunities for you to become more involved; many of them at various levels of commitment and demand of time.
A great place to get started is the Monrovia Area Partnership, or MAP. MAP is a true collaboration between city government and residents that encourages and empowers people to get involved and be a part of the change and/or growth they want to see in their neighborhood. MAP’s mission is to strengthen civic engagement, strengthen relationships and build community.
You can start by signing up for the newsletter, attending or hosting a MAP block party, sign up to attend the Leadership Academy or Neighborhood Conference or sign up for some of their volunteer opportunities. Ready to jump in? Join MAP’s 12th Annual Neighborhood Conference on April 30, from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m., at 925 S. Shamrock Ave.
The mayor and the city council appoint board members and commissioners to function as advisors in specific areas of city business. These positions are not compensated but are crucial to the oversight of some of the many arms of our city. Currently, there are openings on the Planning Commission, MOTAB, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Community Services Commission and the Library Board. You can visit cityofmonrovia.org for more information on each board and/or commission, the requirements and how to apply. Each commission plays an integral role in our community and is critical to maintaining the quality of life we love and appreciate so much, here in Monrovia.
The Monrovia Public Library is always looking for volunteers to maintain the many programs they offer. One of the ways to support the library is by joining the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library. Your membership supports programming for adults, teens & youth, the purchase of new books and media, reading programs and new equipment. The library has opportunities for volunteers aged 18 years and older. Teens can also get involved by joining the Teen Advisory Board (TAB).
Through our local fire department, you can become a certified CERT volunteer. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trains volunteers to assist their community during emergencies and/or disasters, when our first responders may not be readily available. CERT members are trained in basic response skills, such as fire safety search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. For those that are 50 years or older, you can volunteer for Citizen Patrol. These valuable volunteers provide assistance with traffic control during traffic accidents, neighborhood patrol, vacation checks in residential neighborhoods, vehicle impounds and other jobs that are so important to our neighborhoods.
There are so many ways you can get involved with your community. Some of the tasks may seem unimportant, but it is when those positions are not filled that we truly see how important they are. We’ve all heard the proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it does take an entire community of people interacting together to provide a safe and healthy environment for our children to grow up in. I’m an adult and I still rely on my village.
Please take a moment to visit the City of Monrovia website to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities available to you. Or contact your church to learn about the opportunities they may have. I’m sure you’ll find something that not only interests you but is rewarding as well.