Many of us come to a new year with anticipation, a sense of possibility, and curiosity as to what the next 365 days will bring. It’s a clean new page with endless opportunity ahead. It’s the perfect time to get involved in your community — to open new doors and discover new prospects and passions.

If you’re unsure of ways to get involved, there are many. Volunteer your time regularly or just participate in an event. Make donations of supplies or dollars to support a group’s mission. Follow your personal interests and consider your time constraints to find the best possible fit long-term.

Our members include a variety of local organizations and groups that serve this region and can use your help. There are groups that focus on Animal Welfare, the Arts, Civic Organizations, Schools & Youth, Sports & Hobbies, and community-specific departments such as Parks & Recreation, Libraries, and Animal Control. Of course, if you want a wide-angle involvement, consider Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, our members are community-minded residents, regional groups, home-based businesses, and larger retail businesses who are involved in numerous community events and activities throughout the year. We encourage you to search our member directory (www.EdgewoodChamberNM.com) and contact those organizations that may interest you.

Remember, too, that 2018 is an election year. The act of voting is another way to be involved in your community. Choosing those who represent you in government can have substantial effects on your local community, your state, and your country.

With the economy picking up and Americans feeling a bit more optimistic financially, it’s a good time to think beyond your household toward your community. Topics on the National news may be divisive, but at the local level, we have the advantage of actually knowing our small-town neighbors and community members. Being involved locally — as a volunteer, donor, or active citizen — means we can each be a part of making our communities their best. And, afterall, isn’t that the first step in making our state and our country their best?

Edgewood Chamber of Commerce actively serves our region – in a nutshell, though, our theme is always “Keep It Local.” It’s means supporting what is here today and advocating for what this region wants for tomorrow. We serve our members and the Greater East Mountain region by bringing together positive community members and business owners who want the best for this region, by sharing regional events and opportunities with our neighbors, and by helping shape, define, and support what our region wants to be as we head toward the future.

We encourage everyone to get involved. Find that idea, that group, or that mission that you feel passionate about. Even committing to shopping locally and using local service providers on a regular basis makes a great difference. Start small or jump in with both feet, the choice is yours. But, start a habit in 2018 that awakens or re-energizes your sense of community – you’ll be glad you did!

-By Linda Burke

Edgewood Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, member organization that supports business and community prosperity regionwide. For more information, or to get involved, go to www.EdgewoodChamberNM.com and discover what we do and how you can participate.