Just being alive is sort of expensive anymore.
But despite the bills and list of expenses, everyone who lives in, or loves, Park City should be saving money right now. To give it away.
That's because November 16 is the Live PC/Give PC Day of Giving to support the nonprofits that make our town, and our lives, better.
"When you think of your typical day in this community, you realize that nonprofits enrich your life every day," says Trisha Worthington, executive director of the Park City Foundation and founder of the Live PC/Give PC campaign. "For me, I wake up each morning and grab my rescued dogs, jump on a trail in protected open space and go for a run. I come home and listen to KPCW as I make breakfast for my kids, who participate in art classes as the Kimball and sports at the Olympic Park. That's six nonprofits just in a typical day that have made my life better."
She says the goal of this year's campaign is to raise $500,000 from at least 2,500 donors. That's a big jump from last year's inaugural Day of Giving that raised just over $330,000 from about 1,500 donors.
"Whether you live here or visit here, your life is enriched every day because of our local nonprofits," she added. "You don't have to make a big gift to make a difference. Live PC/Give PC is about participation, not about the size of the gift."
With well over 80 area nonprofits participating in this year's Day of Giving, it might seem daunting to determine who deserves your hard-earned dough. They are all worthy. But if you truly don't know where to give, here are my top five favorite charities.
Friends of Animals (FOA). In June, I lost my best friend of 15½ years, my beloved dalmatian, Sabor. I was devastated. I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't eat. I couldn't go to work. I thought I'd never smile again. Three days after she died, an unruly but completely lovable dotted dog entered the FOA program and was at its adoption center, Furburbia, hoping to find a home. Fast forward a few months and Stanley is lying at my feet as I write this. He has found his forever home. And make no mistake: He rescued me just as much as I rescued him.
Stanley is one of more than 1,000 pets that are rescued and re-homed each year by this dedicated group.
"We are committed to finding forever homes for each animal that comes into our program," says Lisa Allison, FOA's executive director.
The group also works with schools to teach students about animal welfare and helps victims of domestic violence escape their abusers by caring for their pets while they get help.
The Hope Alliance (THA). Ever see those commercials that portray devastating and unimaginable poverty somewhere far away with a plea that, for just 17 cents a day, you can feed, clothe or otherwise help a child?
Do they make you feel hopeless?
A donation to The Hope Alliance can change that. THA provides life-changing and lifesaving help to the very poor in developing countries.
"With ever increasing interconnections worldwide, politically and economically, we need to take a bigger role in assisting the very poor around the globe," notes John Hanrahan, co-founder of THA. "Just $10 provides prescription glasses and $20 can ensure clean water for a household."
As for how this organization enhances life in Park City?
"We have hundreds of local volunteers that go on expeditions to developing countries and return to our community with a different world perspective and a burning desire to help both locally and globally," John added.
People's Health Clinic (PHC). Many members of Park City's essential workforce are uninsured. The PHC is their safety net. And, if you ever dine out, stay at a hotel, or head to one of the resorts for a ski day, you need the clinic just as much as the uninsured do.
"By keeping our workforce healthy and on the job, everyone wins," explains Nann Worel, the clinic's executive director. "Fewer sick days for employees ensures a better experience for customers."
A $10 donation to PHC ensures that a diabetic patient will receive a glucose monitor and a box of test strips. It can also provide a flu shot for an at-risk patient.
Mountain Trails Foundation. Did you hike this summer? Mountain bike? Get excited about some of the new trails that were cut? None of it happens without the Mountain Trails Foundation.
This group creates, promotes and maintains more than 350 miles of trails in Park City year-round, something we all benefit from.
Summit Land Conservancy. Of course, there wouldn't be many hiking and biking trails if it weren't for protected open space, which comes courtesy of the Summit Land Conservancy.
"We are here to protect the open views, the quiet of the trails, the wildlife habitat, farms and ranches that make this place beautiful and special," says Cheryl Fox, executive director. "Our economy depends upon it, and for many of us who live or vacation here, so does our sanity. But this land is not free. It is not protected by the Forest Service. If we want to save it, we must buy it from the tax-paying landowners. And that's what Summit Land Conservancy does."
In short, Summit Land Conservancy means we get to backcountry ski. It means the elk and moose have a little elbowroom. And it means strip malls aren't our scenery.
To learn more about the Live PC/Give PC campaign and search for your favorite cause, visit: www.livepcgivepc.org now, and donate on 11/16/12.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley. If you have a story idea, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.