The holidays are a special time to share with family, friends and community. In serving on the Pima County Board of Supervisors these last three years, I adhered to the role of sharing and giving. This involves not only listening to you, but also responding to your needs. And, there are many needs to be addressed.

Some needs can be resolved with policy changes, while others require collaborative input from multiple agencies and organizations — each with a shared perspective. As a public servant, I find myself thinking about the abundance of those in need in our community.

During the holiday season, while many are rushing to purchase gifts, holiday items and decorations, we are reminded of others who are not as fortunate.

From the men and women serving in uniform, unable to be with their loved ones, to those who are trying to make ends meet, the season is not always bright and cheerful for everyone. But, working together we can strive to make a difference through the spirit of giving.

Time is most likely the most precious gift you can give to anyone, whether it is to your loved ones, local charitable organizations or supporting your favorite community cause. In my opinion, time is also the most rewarding gift to receive.

There are many opportunities to help others in Pima County, and not all involve making a financial donation. If you haven’t already, I hope you will consider taking some time to help others this season and in the new year.

Here are a few examples of how you can make a difference:

• Did you know 10 percent of the Pima County population is made up of veterans? Visit www.arizonafisherhouse.org  or www.tucson.va.gov to find out how you can best help our veterans in the new year.

• Volunteer to walk a dog at the Pima Animal Care Center or the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.  724-5900

• Contact your local nursing home and find out how you can participate in activities with those who are without family nearby.

• Volunteer, donate or check out the Holiday Gifts of Love Program with Interfaith Community Services www.icstucson.org 297-6049

• Volunteer or donate to IMPACT of Southern Arizona which serves Catalina and Oro Valley Communities www.impactsoaz.org 825-0009

• Visit your local fire or police station with some homemade, baked goods for our first responders.  

• Contact Tucson Clean & Beautiful and find out what you can do to help organize a park clean up in your area www.tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org 791-3109

• Volunteer at a local shelter or visit www.pimacountyhelp.org for a list of regional resources you can volunteer or donate to for those in need in our community.

• Volunteer your time at the Upcoming Christmas Street Banquet or Children’s Christmas Party with Gospel Rescue Mission www.grmtucson.com 740-1501

Elected officials are public servants who are chosen to represent the needs of the people in their community — we are your “service voice.”

I am grateful that you have chosen me to serve you. Please join me in serving others this holiday season and in the New Year. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!

Supervisor Ally Miller is serving her first term on the Pima County Board of Supervisors representing District 1.

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