Mike Lavelle

French author and political theorist Alexis De Tocqueville noticed back in the 1830’s that democracy worked in America due to the propensity of Americans to develop civic associations. In our area, some of these civic associations would include such groups as the Vail Preservation Society; Angel Tree; Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund; The Vail Education Foundation; and similar organizations. There are, of course, many other non-profit service groups that operate in Vail and the Tucson area. In this issue, Kimberly Crossland provides more information about the above named organizations. With Thanksgiving holiday coming up, we especially want to highlight the importance of one local organization, IMPACT. Each day, IMPACT of Southern Arizona helps families in need, teens, and seniors, with both food and clothing. See Kimberly’s article for more information on all these organizations.

These associations, and the volunteerism provided by them, generate what has come to be known as a form of social capital. You can think of social capital as the benefits that accrue to a community from the actions of many different organizations. Specifically, when groups join together and respond to a social need, be it building a community built park, respond to hunger in the community, or raise funds for a community good, there is a distinct benefit provided to civic life. This giving back to the community is not only good for us individually (and a good balance to the materialism of Black Friday and Cyber Tuesday); it actually helps keep American democracy healthy.

Be assured that your actions of compassion, volunteerism, and financial support of these local associations are valued and valuable. For more information, visit: http://www.givingtuesday.org/

About author View all posts

Lucretia Free