When you think of volunteering, do you think of serving your favorite nonprofit or helping those in need?

This group of volunteers helps make sure the Turkey Trot runs smoothly. (Courtesy Longmont Parks and Recreation)

Volunteering can be so much more, such as supporting an event through the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, joining a city of Longmont board or commission, or helping the city with programs and events. Getting involved in 2023 is a great time to make volunteering a New Year’s resolution to gain new experiences, get to know new people and give back to your local community. 

The LDDA works with about 200 volunteers a year that help with special events, collect data or clean up downtown. 

They’re observing everything, gaining experience about how the event functions for how to set it up, who to partner with and the different services that are used.

Del Rae Heiser

“From a downtown perspective, it’s a great way to get to know just what the downtown community has to offer,” said Del Rae Heiser, downtown specialist for the LDDA. “We pride downtown to be a community atmosphere, and volunteers help in so many ways.”

Volunteers can help the LDDA with the logistics and details of its events, including the Winter Walkabout Music Showcase, the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Summer Concert Series, the Creative Crawl, Summer on the Streets/ArtWalk and the Wine Walk,  plus Small Business Saturday.

For instance, volunteers working at the Summer Concert Series can assist with setting up the event footprint, monitor the entrance gates and ticket booths, and clean up and break everything down. At the Holiday Lighting Ceremony, they can work at the craft table, serve refreshments or hand out goodie bags.

Volunteers make downtown events happen. (Courtesy LDDA)

“They’re in the middle of things,” Heiser said. “They’re observing everything, gaining experience about how the event functions for how to set it up, who to partner with and the different services that are used.”

Volunteers also can join the city’s Clean and Safe Program to help clean up leaves and trash, install new plants or lay mulch. They can provide office support, doing data entry and assisting with mailings and other projects, or walk around town distributing flyers and posters. They also can be a blog or content writer to help promote downtown and its Creative District.

“We try to reward volunteers as much as possible … with little thank you’s on site or after, even gift cards, depending on the situation and the number of hours they work with us,” Heiser said, adding that other rewards can include food and T-shirts. “It helps us get a few more individuals engaged with us from the community.”

For volunteer opportunities and an application with the LDDA, visit downtownlongmont.com.

Another way to volunteer is to get involved with local government by serving directly as a member or by helping the city’s divisions and departments carry out various projects and programs. Volunteers can serve on a board, committee or commission, such as the Library Advisory Board, Historic Preservation Commission or Visit Longmont, to help develop policies that guide city decisions.  

Volunteers of all ages have fun and form relationships, like this crew helping with the Longmont Triathlon. (Courtesy Longmont Parks and Recreation)

Other ways to volunteer with the city include volunteering at the Longmont Public Library, donating or volunteering with the Friends of the Longmont Library, or donating or becoming a museum member with the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center. 

To get involved with the city’s programs and events, volunteers are needed for Parks, Open Space and Trails and Recreation Services. By becoming a parking volunteer patrol, volunteers can educate the public about disability parking laws and issue citations. Or they can get involved with the Sandstone Ranch Visitors & Learning Center to help during open hours, staff tables at events or help with or lead a workshop or class on history, art or wildlife.

“When you volunteer, you give part of yourself—your time, your talent, your energy, your heart,” as stated on city of Longmont’s website, longmontcolorado.gov. “In the process, you acquire valuable skills and practices that are useful for other aspects of life.”