By Ashley Holland
Localworks’ events celebrate Wheat Ridge, bring new people into the community, and allow residents to meet new friends and neighbors. Hardworking teams of volunteers donate their time and energy help make these events successful. Becky Olstad is one such dedicated volunteer.
Olstad owns Becky Olstad Photography and has been volunteering with Localworks since 2016. She started on her journey towards volunteering at last year’s Trunk-or-Treat. “I remember leaving the event so inspired by the enthusiasm I saw in the community of participants and volunteers,” said Olstad. “Around that time, I’d been looking for an organization to volunteer with on a regular basis and reached out to Localworks to get involved with the Communications Advisors Team as a photographer.” Since her start as a volunteer, Olstad has attended and photographed many Localworks’ events - particularly those hosted on the Ridge at 38.
Olstad’s skill and passion have been a huge asset for Localworks. As she notes, good photography is expensive but important. Having strong photos that tell a nonprofit’s story helps motivate others to volunteer and attend future events. “I think photography is a unique service to volunteer because regardless of how the photographs are used, the act of documenting, to me, is a way of saying, ‘the work you’re doing here is important,’” said Olstad. She also remarked that volunteering as a photographer gives her the best seat in the house.
Olstad noted that through her time volunteering, she has been able to meet many people in the community. According to Olstad, “It’s so easy these days to retreat into social media platforms which can feel so divisive… For me, connecting with neighbors in real life through Localworks has made such an impact on my perspective in the community.” For Olstad, it has helped foster her sense of community, and that local connection has brought out Wheat Ridge’s small town charm.
When asked what she would say to potential volunteers, Olstad declared, “Unplug for a minute - meet your neighbors - do some good.”
Localworks is looking for volunteers for many upcoming events and ongoing committees. From RidgeFest to the Holiday Celebration, there are several different volunteer opportunities for community members that would like to get involved. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to email CDoran@WeAreLocalworks.org for more information.
Ashley Holland is the Marketing and Events Coordinator at Localworks.