Mayor Kate Gallego

As the second elected female mayor in Phoenix history and the youngest big city mayor in the United States, I know a thing or two about diversity and knocking down hurdles. I’m passionate about building a community that works for everyone and increasing the quality of life for all Phoenicians. That’s why I believe in extending a hand to organizations that have the same philosophy and vision for citizens as I do.

It really does takes a village to love and support the 1.6 million residents of our city and that includes the underserved members of our community, too. I’m glad to be a part of this village…the part that works hard to find solutions by bringing creative ideas and partnerships together that truly make a difference.

On Jan. 28, I am honored to be part of the annual Jewish Family & Children’s Service Brighter Tomorrow Event. Since 1935, when a group of courageous Jewish women wanted to help people in our community during the Great Depression, JFCS continues to impact the lives of thousands of children, teens and adults coping with trauma, family violence, mental illness, substance abuse, as well as other serious behavioral, physical and social obstacles.

There are so many wonderful organizations like JFCS throughout the Valley that strive to build stronger communities. It makes me proud to be mayor of the nation’s fifth largest city, a city that genuinely welcomes all and offers a hand up to those in need.

This holiday season, I urge my fellow Phoenicians to help me make Phoenix better, stronger and more inviting. If volunteering is your thing, act on it. If you have the means and a giving heart, consider donating food or funds to the many Phoenix-based 501(c)3 organizations that need your support.

But also know…sometimes the smallest gesture can make all the difference. Pick up the phone and check on your family, neighbors and friends. Smile at people you see on the street. Many seniors are alone and battling loneliness without family to check in on them. Be the smile, the light that makes a difference in their day. Sometimes a smile or a kind gesture, no matter how small, can make all the difference. JN

Kate Gallego is the mayor of Phoenix.