Jan. 20, 2020 | Emily Friedman is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at the Zion Regional Collaborative with the Stewards VISTA Program. Zion Regional Collaborative(ZRC)’s membership consists of stakeholders from the area surrounding Zion National Park, including representatives from the BLM, Washington County, the State of Utah, and local governments. Four different municipalities and a nonprofit helped fund Emily’s position with ZRC: The Town of Rockville and Springdale, and the Cities of Hurricane and La Verkin.
In an effort to give back to these communities, Emily decided to devote her Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to serving each of the above communities. For the City of La Verkin, she reached out to a City Councilwoman to inquire about volunteering on MLK Day. They organized a Day of Service at the local animal control center to help the shelter animals from La Verkin and the nearby towns of Springdale and Toquerville.
The morning of January 20th, Emily headed to City of Verkin Animal Shelter with a friend to lend a helping hand. They headed outdoors with two new dogs from the shelter. With leashes and litter bags in hand, they hiked down into the neighboring Confluence Park. They met with Councilwoman Patty Wise at the bottom of the canyon and toured the area together. After their hike, they returned to the animal shelter to devote their attention to the other animals at the shelter. They spent the entire afternoon helping with the animals.
Emily says that her MLK Day of Service experience volunteering with her local community allowed her to reflect on the value of being a volunteer, not only to those being helped but those doing the volunteering. Emily lives in park housing where pets are not allowed so she says she benefited from her volunteer day just as much as the animals did.
Emily started her VISTA service in November 2019 and is looking forward to assisting the other communities that helped fund her position as her year of service continues. Next up is Earth Day at the Town of Springdale.
Emily Friedman posing in front of City of La Verkin Animal Shelter with one of their animals during MLK Day of Service. January 20, 2020.