This is the time of year people speak of gratitude, giving and community. Doing this impacts our mindset, how we experience our daily struggles and triumphs, and our perspective of those around us and the world we live in. It helps us recognize and cherish all that we have, find balance on the difficult days, and know the value of the gifts we give and the people surrounding us.

It is the reason many people choose to give during the holiday season. Whether you contribute to The United Way, The Idaho Foodbank, Secret Santa moments, the Salvation Army or the many local non-profits doing valuable and important work in our community—I know that so many of you give of your precious time, talent, and treasure. Thank you.

This is also a time to reflect on our community, and how it supports itself. Our retailers, restaurants, service providers and local businesses give back to our community year-round. They sponsor our little league teams, Chamber functions, The Greenway, Zoo Idaho, Old Town Pocatello and so much more. Without the support of our business community, Pocatello Chubbuck would just be another standard stop along our national freeway system with no charm, no character, no community pride and no reason to continuously find reasons to improve.

As you go through this holiday season, and even throughout the year, think of ways you can support your community. Here are just a few suggestions:

• Shop locally-When you spend money in our community, most of it stays here. Your local dollar ends up supporting your neighbors, your friends, your family and your community.
• Participate-With community activities and events, there is always something going on. No time to be bored, unless you choose to stay home. Many activities and events are free to low-cost, and are often better than something you find in a large city.
• Celebrate-Whether you’re working or just out and about, if people ask you your thoughts on our community, celebrate! Tell them of all the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities that surround us. Talk about how friendly our community is. Share with them all the amenities we do have, and opportunities for live concerts, remarkable meals at any of our restaurants, the ease of our airport, our public parks, outdoor ice rinks, the generosity of our community, the Chamber, etc…
• Get involved-Our community has numerous committees and boards that need you! If you have a passion or desire to help improve our community, reach out and ask to join an organization or cause. We have such a generous community and pool of talented volunteers-join them. We are all in this together, and in Pocatello Chubbuck, one person does make a difference. Make that one person you this year.

My holiday wish for you and your family is that you are happy and healthy, with a peaceful heart full of gratitude, and with the capacity to give back to our community, not just this holiday season, but year-round.

And, if you’re facing challenges right now, know that the Chamber & I are thinking of you with warm thoughts, and wishing you a bright, healthy, and more comfortable 2018. We look forward to working with you to support your goals for growth, community engagement, and prosperity in the year ahead. Happy holidays!