The Salt Lake Tribune did a great front page article the other day on PERKIE Travels. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a free shuttle that goes daily to Provo for cancer patients who need radiation treatment. The article minimized the local efforts that make this service possible. This service is one that showcases the collaborative efforts that Carbon and Emery counties are so great at.
PERKIE Travels, through the efforts of Lisa Martinez and Nancy Bentley, is a cooperative effort using the vans of Active Re-Entry, Four Corners Mental Health, Emery County Senior Center and Emery County RSVP. Those agencies donate the use of their vans one to two days a week. They also provide the gas, insurance and maintenance of the vehicles. A grant pays for the cost of a driver on a daily basis. Several other agencies have been involved through the years to keep the program running. Both Carbon County Housing Authority and the Food Bank loaned their vans to the program for several years.
PERKIE is only one of many examples of this community working together. When I was employed by the county and would go to state meetings and listen to other communities talk about their problems as well as turf wars in trying to solve them, I was astounded.
It's true, things don't always go as smooth here as we would like, but as I would relate the programs we have in this community to others in those meetings and how we worked together to get them going, those from upstate would be jealous.
The Family Support Center often would have people referred to them because other agencies were not sure where to send them. Many times the Family Support Center would then have to send them some where else. To help the customers as well as the agencies out, the Family Support Center put a small resource guide together. It outlines what the different agencies can help with. It was a great hit because it helped people get to the right resources without a run around. The Family Support Center didn't have the funds to print the guide, but put the effort in to put it together. The Division of Child and Family Service, Head Start, Child Care Resource and Referral all assisted with funding to print and then later reprint the guide.
Example after example of groups working together are abundant in our community. Volunteer groups like RSVP, the SUN Center and the United Way Volunteer Center assure a great source of help and energy. The Elks, Clampers, Soroptimist, WAIME and other service clubs are invaluable to working together. As agencies and service groups they also continue to go to local businesses again and again for help in fundraising efforts. Importantly, they never come up dry.
I have worked on the darker side of this community and have seen some of the bad. I think the community will continue to use collaborative efforts to solve those problems too. The work on the drug court is a prime example of agencies pulling dwindling resources together to solve a problem. Federal and state money is sometimes slow to come to our area because we do not have a large population.
So let's celebrate this community. For what we lack in population and other big city amenities, we make up for with heart and spirit.