Finding and Making the Good honors community members spreading kindness
By Barry Barbe
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” – Suess.
Possibly the best mantra ever. For the last 18 months, a group of local volunteers has made it their mission to recognize community members that are going above and beyond out of compassion and caring.
In the early days of 2020, this group of twelve individuals volunteered for a “secret mission” posted on Facebook. The mysterious post simply requested the assistance of twelve individuals to commit to gathering once a week for twelve weeks. Only the first twelve that responded would be selected. There were more than 50 respondents.
Once assembled, this group became Finding and Making the Good (FAMTG). Its mission: to find and thank those in our community who are doing good regardless of what they themselves were dealing with.
Most of the news during this time was negative and depressing. FAMTG knew there were those doing extraordinary things, and it was time to give them their due.
The group sought and recognized community members for providing meals to neighbors, making sure school kids had hot meals, rescuing animals left to fend for themselves, organizing events to help those less fortunate, and more.
These individuals often get more in return from helping others than the recipient does of their kindness.
Breeanya Hinkel, Publisher of Prescott Woman Magazine has been guiding this group along its path since its inception
“I have loved that FAMTG has evolved past the initial startup during the pandemic shutdown,” Breeanya said. “It’s been a joy to surprise people for doing what comes naturally to them: doing good! It’s such an honor to be a part of a community that continuously recognizes the good in each other.”
The committee, so to speak, is rather unofficial. Casual, yet dedicated. Meetings generally take place over lunch or happy hour, where members review the month’s nominees.
There is no membership fee, no secret handshake — just a desire to thank those who are doing the right thing. Sometimes there is one honoree, other times there are several during the month. Nominations are gathered on the FAMTG website and Facebook page.
“Prescott, as a community, has always been rich in volunteerism,” said Kelly Tolbert, City of Prescott Parks & Rec employee and FAMTG team member. “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was an overwhelming sense of fear due to constant change and lack in the frame of reference as we experienced unknowns as never before. Finding and Making the Good is a way to honor those working behind the scenes to selflessly make Prescott and surrounding communities a better place. What a satisfying honor to be a part of this effort!”
Brian Randal, owner of Leap of Faith Tattoo, was providing school meals to kids even before the pandemic began. Randal is the definition of subtle philanthropy. His presentation occurred on his way to birthday breakfast and in addition to being recognized, Brian was presented with a check to help further his cause.
Ronda Babbitt, a local spa owner, has been organizing gift drives for the holidays for more than 20 years. The Arizona Pioneer’s Home, US Vets, Boys & Girls Club, and other organizations have been the recipients of her organized customer-funded drives.
For the past 29 years, Horses with Heart has organized therapeutic horse rides, providing the benefits of this activity to many in a unique manner for those dealing with PTSD and other issues.
In April of 2021, Finding and Making the Good recognized Real Hope and Mayas Mercado from Prescott Valley for providing as many as 2000 food assistance boxes weekly. Real Hope depends on Mayas Mercado and other local businesses to support its mission. This daunting task is volunteer-driven and relies on community support. The group was given $3,000 towards their efforts.
Prescott Center for the Arts and PCA Serves, a volunteer group organized within the theater, provided food delivery, as well as acapella tunes and jokes to uplift client spirits.
Finding and Making the Good is funded through a grant from Gato Community Gives, El Gato Azul, Allen’s Flowers and other local businesses that provide gift cards for groceries, gas, and even a well-deserved massage as well as cash donations from the community.
“I was excited to have the opportunity to join Finding the Good in Prescott because I knew there were citizens who were quietly doing their part to help others,” said Don Hawker, FAMTG team member. “What we have found are individuals fostering children, saving animals, feeding the needy, to name a few.”
Peg Rhodes supplies handmade masks to local groups and individuals. Peg later made a donation to FAMTG to continue the fostering of good deeds.
Other recipients include; Yavapai Humane Trappers, Stacey Ricketts, Dr. Ron Barnes, Maria Lyman, Ellen Bashor with the Prescott Nature Center, Musician / Activist, Johnathon Best, Dr. Juda Pifer, Tessa Gempe, Jenn Winter-Ashcraft, GYCC, Cindy Foss, The Launch Pad, Kristin Rose, Abby Brill, and many more.
Keep looking for the Good. If ya can’t find it, you can create it yourself.
Learn more at findingandmakingthegood.com and on Facebook: Finding and Making the Good.