I’m often contacted by local citizens asking about ways to get involved. There’s so much happening here that becoming active is relatively easy. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
1. Be an Advocate for Excelsior Springs
I can’t help but get irritated when I see Excelsior citizens talking smack on the town. This is OUR town! We should take pride in it and what happens here. We aren’t doing anything to help by tearing it down publicly, though. If anything, it undoes the work that so many here are doing to make this the best place to be. If there are problems of some kind, get involved by personally meeting with those that you have a problem with. Go to them in person before taking your argument to social media. That’s the respectful thing to do and something you would want your neighbor to do for you.
When someone asks about Excelsior Springs, tell them about all the great things happening here annually now. There are parades/festivals/events every month throughout the year. Invite them to come for a visit and send them our city’s tourism website that gives them all the info they’ll need to play a great stay ——> www.visitexcelsior.com
2. Shop Local
For every $100 you spend locally, $68 stays local. When you shop at a national chain, only $43 stays locally. By buying local, you are stimulating the local economy, becoming a part of local job growth, and conserve tax dollars by keeping sales tax dollars where you live.
Take a picture and make a post when you’re in a local business or at a local event. Someone that does a great job with this is the Bill Hightower Team. They go out to eat as a company and always give the restaurant they go to a plug online! Perfect example:
3. Promote the Community
Talk to your friends about what’s happening in the community. When you have an opportunity to recommend Excelsior, do! If your organization is looking to have a work function or your family is having a reunion, ask that they come to Excelsior!
On social media, click “like” on local posts, share info that will be helpful to the community, and leave positive comments that others can see. When you see good things happening in the community, share with the area news organizations. Sharing a post is so easy on Facebook! Help get the word out about what’s going on by giving our community a plug whenever you can! Also, if you’re making a post, use the hashtag #eslocal so that it shows up in a search. Type #eslocal into the search bar on any social media platform to pull up others posts about our town.
4. Leave Good Reviews
Most businesses are located online in places that you can leave a review. Visit your favorite Excelsior pages at sites like Yelp! or Facebook and leave a positive review. This helps boost their visibility online and works as an endorsement for others that might be considering that shop.
Here are some examples of great reviews left for Dubious Claims downtown:
There are a number of community organizations and events taking place throughout the year that need your help. If you have a place of business or group looking to get involved, there are opportunities for multiple people to get active, too. Check out how to volunteer for organizations within the community:
The City has several boards and commissions that citizens are needed to serve on each year. Choose from Board of Zoning Adjustments, Capital Improvements Authority, Community Center Board, Enhanced Enterprise Zone, Hall of Waters Steering Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, Hospital Board, Housing Authority, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning Commission, Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, Special Road District, and Tax Increment Financing Commission. If you want to serve the city on a board or committee, click here for the volunteer application.
You don’t have to be a member of the Chamber in order to volunteer for their annual activities! They have a whole list of committees and event planning groups that you can join or be involved in. Examples include the Chamber’s Annual Dinner and Auction, choosing award winners for annual recognitions for both business and the community, Economic Development, Professional Development, Finance, Marketing/Tourism, Membership, Trolley, Waterfest, and the West Side Committee. Click here to learn more and submit your name to volunteer.
The Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) is an organization that builds support to our downtown. There are a number of committees that you can get involved in to make a difference to our community’s economy: Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion, Website, and Organization. Click here for more details.
Other organizations that are in need of help throughout the year include the Good Samaritan Center, Excelsior Springs Educational Foundation, Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation Department, Excelsior Springs Senior Center, Meet the Need, Elementary and Middle School Booster Clubs, After Prom, Excelsior Springs Hospital, and more! Click on each name to find more information.
If you want to go beyond volunteering, there are a number of boards and commissions throughout the city that could use your help! Try serving on a city board. I encourage you to attend meetings of organizations you’re interested in before running for a board position, though. Familiarize yourself not only with the issues that particular board is facing, but also to develop good relationships with those you will be serving with. That’s important so your time spent on the board or commission is most effective.
7. Pay Your Taxes
Something that is expected of us all is to pay our taxes, but it goes beyond just meeting a requirement set. Paying your taxes helps to care for our community’s infrastructure, schools, and public services. Paying your taxes means playing a larger role in a collective good. With all of us working together, we can do great things.
I brag on Excelsior Springs every chance I get. My entire life I have loved this town and the people in it. We have such a unique community. Despite it growing, it still feels small. Those who are outside looking in describe us as a community that cares for each other. We take care of one another when there are hardships like fires or loss of a loved one. Our circles are tight and our hearts are full of love. To me, that’s something worth supporting. I hope you’ll join me!