So Much to Be Thankful For in Ukiah
This Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of the many reasons we can be thankful to live in such a wonderful community.
First, and very personally, I am deeply thankful for the courage of people I have the privilege of working with, the people who dedicate their careers to public safety.
I am thankful for:
- the police dispatcher who finds a way, over the phone, to convince a distraught caller not to take their own life,
- the EMT or paramedic who is first on the scene at a medical emergency who does everything he or she can to give the victim a fighting chance to survive,
- the firefighters (both paid and volunteer) who run into a burning building to rescue people who are trapped, and
- the law enforcement officer who runs towards (rather than away from) the sound of gunfire in hopes of saving a life.
Each and every day, our public safety personnel respond to a host of emergencies and calls for help, which puts them in a position to see some of our community’s worst problems. Yet, despite the problems, these dedicated people get up and go to work the next morning (or evening) to do it again because they get tremendous satisfaction out of helping others.
In addition to our courageous public safety heroes, we have many others to be thankful for.
Our community’s non-profit organizations are some of our greatest treasures.
The Ford Street Project, Food Bank, Buddy Eller Center and Plowshares feed, provide clothing, and house those less fortunate. Project Sanctuary provides much needed counseling and assistance to victims of domestic violence. And, our community’s local Christmas Effort provides food, gifts and other assistance to those in need during the holidays. If you can, please find a way to help these organizations.
This Sunday, November 25th, marks the start of the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Annual Food Bank Drive, and annually our community finds a way to donate over $100,000 dollars to help feed Ukiah. With the high number of families struggling to make ends meet during these fiscally challenging times, your help this year, is needed more than ever.
Our community’s service clubs are among the very best.
From Rotary to Lions to Kiwanis to Soroptimists – and many more – our service club members continually find ways to help others through their active service and funding for community organizations and projects. Whether they are providing dictionaries or scholarships for local students or supporting veterans, they take on projects where the need is greatest.
Our faith-based community always finds a way to help.
On the weekends, Plowshares partners with 15 local churches to provide the Hunger Express Program. This partnership assures that more than 400 meals a month are delivered to people in Ukiah each Saturday and Sunday. And their service doesn’t stop there. From building new housing in Mexico to collecting warm clothing for our less fortunate right here in Mendocino County, our faith-based community is always available to lend a hand.
Our local youth activities are second to none.
We have so many ways kids can participate in after school activities. Whether they are school-sponsored or community-based, these activities provide local youth with healthy outlets for their physical energy and wonderful places for their creativity and intellectual curiosity to grow and develop.
Ukiah offers sports (individual and team-based), martial arts, performing arts (dance, chorus, theater), places to hang out and volunteer (Boys & Girls Club and the Arbor on Main), music instruction (playing instrument as an individual or as part of a band/group), tutoring, Math-Engineering-Science-Achievement (MESA), organized high school clubs, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, BMX, art (photography, ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture), and more.
If that’s not enough, there are countless opportunities to volunteer or complete a service project. Our local non-profits, the animal shelter, and the Alex Rorabaugh Center can always use a teenager’s help. Our community should be extremely proud of the opportunities and activities we provide.
Our Local Business Community
From retail shops to local consultants, and from local farmers to local restaurants, our business community is diverse and amazingly supportive. No matter how many times our community asks for help, our businesses find ways to respond. They donate to countless causes, events and community needs, and they provide generous sponsorships and scholarships to our community’s youth.
From kindergarten to junior college, our community hosts a wide array of educational opportunities. We have some incredible teachers who devote their entire careers to improving the lives of our children. These teachers spend countless hours, inside the classroom and after hours, to teach and tutor students, buy educational supplies, and mentor young adults who face difficult life decisions.
And, it doesn’t stop there: through the Mendocino College Foundation’s scholarship program, our community ensures that those willing to work hard can have the opportunity to earn a college degree.
From the Mendocino College Symphony to the Ukiah Players Theater to the Grace Hudson/Sun House Museum, our rich artistic and cultural community was forged through community donations and hard work. These arts and cultural programs provide a critical link to our community’s past, and they enrich our lives. Without these programs, our community would lack an important part of what makes us who we are.
Our Department’s Thanks
Wherever I turn, I find people who make our community better because of their energy, drive and determination to improve the lives of others. For each problem our public safety responders must deal with, we can point to several shining examples of good things our community has to offer.
The Thanksgiving holiday gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what we can be grateful for. On the behalf of our community’s public safety personnel, thank you, Ukiah, for all you do to make our community such a wonderful place.
As always, our department’s mission is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.