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Enjoy Magazine

My Town: Giving • By Joe Ayer

My Town - Joe Ayer

January 2020
Photo by MC Hunter Photography
My Town: Giving
My wife, Kara, and I grew up in Southern California and through a series of work opportunities made our way north, landing in Redding in 2010. I did not know much about Redding beyond a freeway sign off I-5 with a rural vibe, but Kara and I had a hunch this would be a great move for us and our children. I have loved raising our kids in an area with a slower pace of life and greater sense of community. Do you know how amazing the schools are in Redding? Elementary schools offer curriculum fare far more than what is offered in larger, more urban areas, with music, art, foreign language and organized sports. Truly, it’s awesome!

Community service holds great importance to me. I believe it’s key to being a good community citizen. Redding offers incredible opportunities for people to step up and help others.  As the regional manager of Vitalant (formerly BloodSource), I witness generous giving every day as blood donors transform lives by giving something no one else but another human can give. That gift, in turn, changes lives for others. It is impossible to not be touched by these actions. When I give blood, I am reminded to be grateful for my good health that allows me to help others heal, recover and experience life with families, friends and community, the very experiences I sometimes take for granted when life gets busy.

Giving of ourselves makes the world a better place and reflects the best in each of us. To make the world a better place involves taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, especially kids. One of the best experiences for my family has been with the foster-to-adopt program. We are thrilled to wrap loving arms around Brandon, who is now a permanent part of our family. Serving as a Rotarian and on the Shasta Union High School District board are other ways I lift up community.

As a new year dawns, I am grateful for what I have been given and for what I can give to others, whether it’s blood, time, service, interest or talents.

Redding, my town, is a town with a giving spirit.