Striving for a better place to live

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Joe Webb

One of the things I set out to do when I was elected chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party back in February was to meet as many people as possible. Part of it was an attempt to discover what was working in Jefferson County and what wasn’t. I wanted to listen to as many voices as possible in order to learn.
It’s been a great experience. What was learned in ward meetings, council hearings and listening to people is that Jefferson County has a lot of fantastic, involved citizens who want nothing more than to make our county and its localities a better place. They go unnoticed primarily because for them the joy in their volunteerism consists of doing rather than being noticed by others.
They do this in a number of different ways and in a number of different venues. Some are public and some are private. Take the Phillips United Methodist Church on Pierce Street in Lakewood. Once a month they have a community dinner in their hall where everyone — no exceptions — is invited to partake of a free meal. In an era of economic instability and a precarious corporate world, this is no doubt welcome.
But the free meal merely scratches the surface. We live in a world where an increasing number of adults live alone. They are older and while some may prefer their lives as they are, many are alone through circumstance. While they may be able to afford a meal, maybe they come for the contact with someone else. It is our common humanity that binds us together, and when you speak with someone in a kind, understanding manner, you are feeding their soul and their psyche. All hunger needs are not physical. Of course this dinner is completely staffed by volunteers.
The Jeffco Action Center on Colfax Avenue in Lakewood has a page on its website begging for volunteers to help others. There are so many one-time and permanent opportunities for volunteerism on its page, it would take me two columns to outline them all. It is trying to help the less fortunate in our county and pick them up to become better citizens. What it does is install pride in those who lacked it. Great work indeed.
These are just two examples in our large diverse county that are praiseworthy, but there are so many more. Reading to young schoolchildren, mentoring start-up business through SCORE or coaching young kids in a team sport in a league somewhere in Jeffco are several others.
Toward the end of the year, people naturally reflect on the blessings they have, and while this little column will have a more political focus next year, I want to impress upon you to do whatever you can to help out here in Jeffco. Years ago I was fired from a job with another guy. When we were commiserating he said, “Well this just means I’ll be able to coach kids in Little League.” Exemplary attitude, wouldn’t you say? It is this spirit which resides in Jefferson County that I would like to expand. That spirit makes Jefferson County a little better place to live, and a healthier climate for business and education. Politically speaking that is something we should strive to obtain. 

Joe Webb is the chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.