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You, your family and your friends are an integral part of what makes our community a great place to live

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVE AND BLU PHOTOGRAPHY
 - Taking pride in your community and volunteering to clean it up can make the town sparkle. Recently, Crook County Judge Seth Crawford teamed up with Blaine Noland Construction and Painting and other volunteers to repaint the 'CC' near Crook County High School.

Prineville and Crook County are well known to others as an area that puts a high value on the spirit of community. The area takes pride in its history and those who do their part to support local. This sense of community draws people to the region and provides natural opportunities for connection. There are also strong values, such as hard work, integrity and support of others.

While we have seen a large change in community development efforts and new industry in our town, we don't need to change the fiber of this county. You, your family and your friends are an integral part of what makes our community a great place to live. Your simple acts of kindness and contribution allow for an even greater expansion of possibilities for Crook County to continue to thrive in spirit, amid an economic and population boom.

There are several simple ways to make a difference and keep a positive sense of community. It can be as easy as showing some gratitude and taking a few extra minutes in your day to have a simple, yet long-lasting impact. Want to be an involved member of the community and make a difference in Crook County?

Support local. Register to vote, learn about city and county issues, needs and opportunities, and consider joining a board or civic organization. Attend community meetings, local events and activities, and sign up for classes at COCC or through Parks and Rec. And if you are gifted in a skill, take the time to teach others and share your own expertise. Make sure you pass on the great opportunities in our community to those around you and share the goodness happening locally. Who knows? You may get so involved you end up running for local office.

Shop local. Invest in your community by shopping locally. Research shows that approximately 70% of every dollar spent locally stays in the community. Spending money at the local shops and businesses supports the Prineville economy and your neighbors. By keeping money in our town, it is easily reinvested in things like services, groceries, schools and roads. It's a cycle that keeps on giving.

Volunteer. Find time to offer your time and talents to individuals or groups. There is always someone in need of assistance,or some event that could use a set of extra hands. If you are unsure of where to start, contact the civic groups, the senior center, the humane society or local schools. Offer transportation, meal-making or yardwork. Looking out for those around you is a great way to volunteer.

Clean up your community. One way to take pride in our community and make a visible impact is to take part in cleaning up. Whether it is picking up litter, helping with cleanup at a park, or pulling trash out of a stream, all of these things help make our town sparkle and are easily seen. Local businesses can even do this with their own sidewalk or the block in which they reside. Look into community cleanup days or organize one yourself. All it takes is a little time and a trash bag.

Being a part of the community and giving back can be as simple as a small, one-time gesture, or you can be part of a massive effort. There are always opportunities in Prineville and Crook County, and there is great benefit to taking part in them. It brings us closer together and improves not only the local wellness, but also shows the importance and value we show in our community.

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King


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