pool construction growth

Trends Driving Pool Popularity

Above is a graph comparing the average United States pool construction growth since 2005 versus our own personal construction growth since 2005. It’s interesting to note our dip slightly before the recession and then a strong upward trend from 2008 to 2014. We like to contribute this success to implementing a strong digital marketing presence; in fact, we became so involved in digital marketing that we created our own company, Omnibeat! In this blog, we will explore other trends that we believe are driving this growth and try to justify the consistent progress we expect in the future. Way to go Nate Trimmer and Team Sunset!

Limitless Possibilities

If you wanted to build a pool 50 years ago then you would have a few different options, but for the most part everyone’s pools were “standard” and similar. However, in today’s market the pool possibilities are infinite and it seems like no two pools look the same anymore. The differences range from major differences like design and materials to minor differences like lighting and water features. The different options available for modern pools are truly astounding, and we think this potential for creativity and uniqueness is helping drive the pool market.

Technological Advancements

New advancements have made pool construction easier for everyone. There are now apps and websites which allow customers to begin visualizing their dream pools virtually. On the other side of it, we have modern technology like shotcrete that makes the pool building process much stronger and more efficient. Beyond this, pool control and maintenance has also become more convenient. Customers can now control their pool temperature and filter from their phones and receive better feedback about the quality of their pool allowing for easier maintenance and upkeep.

Generational Changes

With every new generation comes changes, and we believe that the new generation has brought positive results to the pool business. For one, we have found that pools serve as a great family mecca allowing parents and grandparents to entertain children and grandchildren. These younger children are also playing pool related sports in greater numbers, which is increasing the demand for pools to practice in. Additionally, a large population of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are reaching older ages where pools can be of great health benefit. Pools are a terrific way to exercise while putting minimal pressure on the joints, so pools can be a great workout tool for older generations.

cloudy sunWeather

Weather has been another strong influence on the pool business as of recently. In California, weather was a negative influence up until recently as people negatively correlated the drought with pools. However, now that the drought is practically over and we are experiencing nice, warm weather we are seeing a strong demand for pools to help homeowners escape the heat and cool off.

Easier Ways to Pay

Finally, a strong economy is potentially the central influence causing an increase in demand
for swimming pools. You could see in the graph at the beginning that the demand for pools took a sharp decline in 2008-2011 as America recovered from the recession, but our recovered economy is bringing about an increase in pool business. The reason for this partially relates to an increasing per capita disposable income in America, but also to the increased ability to finance pool construction. In this strong economy, you can get an affordable loan in more ways than ever before.

We believe that it is a combination of all these trends that is leading to the positive pool construction growth that you see in the chart at the beginning. We are incredibly thankful for this growth as it allowed us to keep doing what we love: build pools! If you have been seeing similar growth in your business or if you know someone that is looking to join in on the trend and get started on the pool of their dreams then email us and let us know – we love to hear from our amazing customers!

dog sunglasses in pool

Dogs in Swimming Pools

As it gets warmer you will likely start swimming more often, and you may be tempted to bring your dog in the pool with you. If you have one, however, before you do this you should know a few things and take some precautions. This blog will discuss the tradeoffs of dogs swimming in your pool, so you can know whether or not swimming is a good fit for your dog. Also, don’t miss a clip of Nate’s adorable new puppy (who’s not so much of a puppy anymore) Ragnar at the end of the blog.

Make Sure Your Dog Can Swim

People commonly assume that all dogs are natural swimmers, but this is not true. Some breeds of dogs instinctively doggy paddle when placed in water, but other breeds that are top heavy with short legs cannot swim well and will be at harm in a pool. Some examples of breeds that can’t swim are bulldogs, dachshunds, pugs, and boxers just to name a few. Thus, before you go throwing your dog into the pool trying to get it to swim, you should check to make sure your dog can swim by researching and testing their swimming abilities in shallow water.

Is It Safe for Dogs in Chlorine Pools?

Chlorine is not inherently dangerous for dogs, but, like many other things, the hazards of chlorine are dose dependent. Dogs’ eyes, ears, and noses are more sensitive than humans, so they may be more irritated by the chlorine than you. However, for the most part chlorine pools are safe for dogs, as long as they are not drinking the water in large amounts.

dog sheddingBe Wary of Shedding

Different breeds of dogs have various levels of shedding, but if your dog sheds heavily then its hair may pollute your pool and clog your filtration system if it goes swimming. After all, nobody wants to go swimming and come out covered in dog hair. If your dog does shed heavily and you still want to allow it to swim then just try to brush it ahead of time to limit shedding in the pool.

Maybe Opt for A Kiddie Pool

Maybe your dog sheds too much or maybe it can’t swim well, but it still wants to swim. Well, a kiddie pool can be the perfect solution. Dogs can have plenty of fun in kiddie pools while remaining safe and keeping your pool nice and clean.

In the end, the decision about whether to let your dog go swimming depends on the type of dog. If you have a dog that loves to swim, doesn’t shed, and can swim well then let them jump in the pool and join the family. However, if your dog sheds heavily, cannot swim, or maybe hates swimming then you should avoid bringing them in the pool and maybe opt for a kiddie pool instead. Having your dog in the pool can be a great experience, but like most other things you always should be careful and make sure you take precaution.

Ragnar In Pool

Watch Ragnar having a blast in his pool.

Things to Look for When Buying a House with a Swimming Pool

poor stepsHidden Repairs

Oftentimes when preparing a house for sale, homeowners will do makeshift repairs to make things look perfect and functional, but these repairs can often be an illusion. When looking to purchase a house with a swimming pool you should contact a pool inspector to test the equipment and pressure of the pool to ensure everything works properly and to avoid any leaks or issues. If there are repairs necessary then you should have those estimated ahead of time so you can factor them into the purchasing price.

Warranty Coverage

You should always check to see if your pool is covered under warranty. Sometimes the pool company will have gone out of business or maybe something else happened to terminate the warranty; if this is the case, then you should contact an insurance agent to find out how much a warranty would cost you monthly. Buying a pool without a warranty can add surprise monthly expenses, so you need to do research beforehand to make sure you get a fair price.

warranty cartoon

car in poolImpact on Insurance

Beyond warranty, pools also have an impact on your insurance as well. The value added to your home by a pool can vary significantly potentially impacting your premium, so you want to contact your insurance agent to get an estimate on what your monthly insurance will look like with a pool. Luckily, pools are less susceptible to damage in comparison to houses so homeowners should not worry too much about pools and their impact on insurance.

Pool Design

Probably the utmost question to ask yourself when buying a house with a pool is: do you like the design of the pool? You can always pay for a pool remodel, but if this is your plan then you should think a remodel through ahead of time to ensure you are prepared for the costs. Last thing you want is to end up with a pool, which you find distasteful, stuck in your backyard due to a lack of funding for a remodel. While the pool design and appearance should come second in priority to the house, you should still seriously consider the design of the pool and factor in any future remodels into your budget.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Pools are not just a one-time purchase and done type of ordeal – pools requiring cleaning and maintenance and, while these costs are not expensive, they need to be considered prior to purchasing.

 

Don’t get us wrong – buying a house with a pool is a blessing. However, we just want to make sure that prospective homeowners are prepared for what a pool entails and make sure that they get the right price for the home they purchase. Buying a pool should add value to the home, but the extent of this value can only be sometimes be overvalued. This is why all prospective homeowners should check these items and make sure they factor them into their budget before making the decision to buy a home with a pool.

Cost Variation in Swimming Pool Construction

Building a swimming pool is no minor thing; thus, when you decide to build a swimming pool you want to ensure you have all the facts about the unique features of pools and the costs that come with them. This post is written to educate customers on what elements of swimming pool construction add additional costs, so as to guarantee that clients avoid hidden fees and truly get the most out of their money.

pool tileQuality of Building Materials

The most important cost factor in your pool is the materials you decide upon. Porcelain tiles look incredible, but they come at a price. Vinyl can be cheaper than concrete or other materials, but your design flexibility and visual aesthetic capabilities are limited with vinyl. The same goes with coping and all the other materials that go into a pool. There will always be materials more expensive than others, but, more often than not, these higher prices will come with greater benefits.

Add-On’s

A spa and a water feature are nice additions to a pool, but they don’t come for free. These days there are innovative technologies that allow you to clean your pool more efficiently or even allow you to control your spa with your smartphone, and we believe these technologies are often worth the price. However, if you are working with a tight budget then you cannot afford to be adding all the newest technologies and every feature possible.

contractorCraftsmanship and Expertise

Oftentimes people think that the size and materials are the only factors that change price, but this is not true. When working with someone with experience and expertise you are paying for a promise on better design and execution. Someone with 30 years of experience in the business is going to design a more beautiful pool and make sure that the project is completely in a timely and efficient manner. You may be inclined to pick the cheaper, less-experienced pool contractor, but you also need to understand that this contractor will not be able to guarantee the same product the experienced contractor can. It is this same promise of quality that causes us to shop at stores like Nordstrom’s over buying cheap products online.

Magnitude and Scope

A larger pool is going to cost more – this everyone knows. However, what most people do not know is that magnitude goes beyond simply size. Deeper pools are also more expensive because it requires more digging and excavating. Design can also play a factor as a simple circle pool will be easier and less expensive than an elaborate design that requires precise planning. In the end, these additions all require more materials, labor, and time meaning more money, so when planning a pool, you need to take magnitude and scope into consideration with regards to your budget.

warrantycartoonWarranties and Support

Warranties can be a subtle yet important cost variation in pool building. You want to make certain that you work with a swimming pool company with longevity because your warranty is only good as long as the company you are working with is in business. It is for this reason that some warranties may be more expensive than others, but sometimes this warranty is worth the premium of making sure your pool remains functional for years to come.

In Summary

Buying a pool is like buying a car – you can buy your car with no accessories, the bare minimum, and be happy with your purchase. However, if you really want to enjoy your purchase and get the best experience out of it, then sometimes you need to add GPS, a sunroof, and a new interior. You may be happy with a simple pool that gets the job done and allows you to swim, but if you want a pool that will transform your backyard and amaze your visitors then you will likely have to spend a little extra. Pool buyers need to be wary of the cost variations mentioned in this blog to guarantee that they get an accurate and fair pricing for the pool project they are dreaming of.

5 Reasons to Hire a Pool Contractor

A pool can be the perfect addition if you’re looking to upgrade your bland backyard. No two pools will look the same, so that’s why you need to seize the opportunity and get your pool done right by a pool contractor. Pool contractors will help shape the backyard you’ve been dreaming of.

Their Knowledge and Expertise

Pool Contractors know what looks good no matter the layout of your yard. They’ll use their knowledge to help design the ideal pool to match your space and create the perfect backyard environment.

Boost Your Property Value

Having a beautiful pool can make your property more valuable. Pool contractors will know which shapes and styles suit your area best, thus giving your home a more beautiful aesthetic and higher value if you decide to put it on the market.

Their Recommendations

Pool contractors work goes beyond the build itself, as they can recommend the right equipment and services to keep your pool running and looking beautiful for a long time to come. They can also share water and energy savings tips to cut your bills in half.

Proper Systems

When dealing with pools for a living, you make sure to keep up to date with the newest and best pool equipment. We’ll make sure you have the state-of-the-art pool systems to keep your pool shining.

Family Mecca

A pool can transform your yard into a family mecca because, let’s face it, there’s nothing better than sitting poolside with your family and friends on a hot summer day. However, without a pool, your kids will be ditching you to go swimming in their friends’ pools. Time is precious, might as well make the most of them and share memories in your own backyard.

houzz

Find Your Local Professional with Houzz and Yelp

Houzz and Yelp are two excellent sources to help you find a talented local professional. Both of these sites revolve around customer reviews meaning that you can hear input from prior customers to ensure that the professional you are hiring will meet your expectations. In this post we will explain both Houzz and Yelp before then highlighting the benefits of each site and explaining how they can help you find the local professional right for the job.

Yelp

yelpYelp has hundreds of millions of users per month, so most people are familiar with Yelp. However, about 40% of Yelp’s reviews are devoted to shopping and restaurants meaning that not very many people use the app for local professionals. This should not be the case though, as there are over 127 million reviews on app, about 13% of which relate to home and local services. This means that you can search for a local professional on Yelp and likely find reviews from previous customers detailing the good and the bad of each professional.  These reviews can help you be confident in your decision because professional service is almost always consistent – a professional who puts in due diligence on one job is likely to do the same on the future jobs and vice versa. Here at Sunset we are happy with our 10 reviews but some local contractors have up to 100! This goes to show that Yelp can be used for things other than finding food reviews and can help you find a local professional for any service you may need.

Houzz

Houzz is another popular site similar to Yelp in that it integrates customer reviews, but it is different because professionals can create their own pages to display their products and advocate for their service. Houzz is less oriented to shopping and food services than Yelp and more focused on home improvement with profiles from all different professions. Regardless of the type of home improvement you are looking for, Houzz has you set and a simple search can lead you to professionals displaying their products with reviews to match. Sunset is proud to say we have 18 reviews on Houzz along with 2 Houzz Awards for Best Service over the past 2 years. Houzz is an excellent app for any type of home improvement and can be great motivation to help you find the right professional and get started on that home renovation you have always dreamed of.

Yelp and Houzz are two great apps that can help you find local professionals right for your job. The integration of customer reviews allows you to ensure that you will be pleased with your professional just as the previous clients were. We also encourage everyone to leave reviews more often on Yelp, Houzz, or whatever else may be. You benefit when others leave helpful reviews so why not return the favor and review something you experienced for someone else. 

Communication Key

Communication is Key

Here at Sunset we believe we truly excel at one thing: communication. This is not to take away from our pool design and craftsmanship, but rather we just believe that our communication is what sets us apart – and our clients have said the same. Below are two reviews left on our Yelp and Houzz pages from our previous clients, and you can clearly see both emphasized our communication skills.

Yelp Review Jan Faiola

Sunset Houzz Heather McNeillWhy do we focus so heavily on communication?

It’s simple – we care about the customer experience. Buying a pool is not like buying a house because, while both are large investments which people put a lot of time and effort into, a pool is not a one-step transaction. A pool is an ongoing process like building a house in which the customer wants to be kept in the loop about what is happening and what the timeline looks like for the future. How would you feel if your contractor building your house just decided not to contact you for a week straight? You would feel nervous and frustrated because you have no idea what is happening inside your house that you are paying a large amount of money for. It is for this reason that we place such a high emphasis on communication because we have been in that position of being the customer. We understand that the customer wants to be the first person notified when something happens and wants to be constantly informed regarding the status of their pool and outdoor living space.

What do we do differently?

Every day we email our clients telling them what we did the day prior and what will be occurring in the upcoming days. These email updates help the client ensure that we are on track and working productively. This way the client can contact us if they are confused about some part of the process or can be there when anything important is happening. This daily communication may seem like a small thing, but we think it really goes a long way in crafting the strong customer relations that we desire.

So why does this all matter?

Well for one we think these reviews can be great takeaways for every aspect of life. Whether it be with your family, friends, or work, communication is truly the most important thing. People always say the small things matter the most and communication is one of those. It may only take us a few minutes every day to update our customers, but these few minutes end up transforming their experience and making it much more relaxing. We hope that you can learn from this and focus on communication with everyone around you – you may just be surprised at the benefits it will bring.

Fireworks

Tips for a 4th of July BBQ

4th of July is just around that corner and that means it’s the perfect time to invite friends over and fire up the barbeque. Grilling and the 4th of July go together like peanut butter and jelly, so we decided to write this blog to make sure you’re ready to host your BBQ and show off that backyard of yours. Every great BBQ follows a few simple steps and you follow these steps then you will be on your way to making this year’s 4th of July party a memorable one.

4th July BBQ

Get a Grill

A grill being a necessity at a BBQ – who would’ve thought? Seriously though a grill is the most important part of the BBQ, and, while any grill can technically get the job done, not every grill will do the job the right way. We partnered with Summerset grills last year because they make top of the line grills that not only look good, but also cook well. You may not be able to tell the difference between grills when you are cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, but when you start cooking steaks and other high-quality meats then the difference becomes apparent. If you want to step it up and bring your BBQ to the next level then you are going to need a next level grill. Additionally, if you are feeling really adventurous you could even try using a smoker – smoker grills typically burn wood to cook meats at low, controlled temperatures while also adding a smoky flavor some people love. A smoker is a big commitment in terms of effort and time, but if you really enjoy barbecue then maybe a smoker could bring your BBQ to the next level.

Find a Grill Master

Every great BBQ has a grill master, or a person who operates the grill. Grilling is often harder than it looks – almost anyone can learn how to grill something like a hot dog or hamburger, but grilling more difficult foods to perfection is easier said than done. Odds are someone at the party enjoys grilling and would love to work the grill, so there is no need to worry about overseeing the grill if you are hosting the party. However, you just have to ensure that you find someone proficient in grilling to manage the grill or else you could end up with undercooked or charred food.

Grill MasterFind Your Recipe

If you are just looking for a classic BBQ then you can always just go with classic hamburgers or hot dogs, but if you are trying to make this 4th of July memorable then you should try spicing it up and finding a recipe to set your party apart. Brisket, ribs, and pulled pork are three great BBQ meals that have a number of various recipes if you are looking to spice it up. You can also try recipes not relating to meats – you can try grilling vegetables, artichokes are just one of many vegetables that taste delicious when grilled, or making a special side whether it be potato salad or some other tasty recipe. The internet is home to millions of recipes perfect for any occasion, so this 4th of July think ahead of time, search the web, and decide on a recipe to spice up your party.

In the end, parties are not defined by the food or drinks, but rather by the people. However, if you want your guests to be happy then there is no better way to create a positive atmosphere than some great food. It is always fun to experiment with different recipes, and there is no better time than the 4th of July. Thus, we encourage you to make your 4th of July memorable and host a BBQ party that will blow away your friends and family.

South Coast Supply

South Coast Supply and Garden Daze

South Coast SupplySouth Coast Supply and Garden Daze are two of our favorite places in Los Alamitos. In case you’ve never heard of them, South Coast Supply and Garden Daze are across the street from Los Alamitos High School and provide amazing products for landscaping and construction.
South Coast Supply, like Sunset, is a family owned business operating in Southern California. Bonnie Jark has been the owner of South Coast Supply for a long time now and works hard every day whether it be behind the counter, in the yard on a forklift, or even in a delivery truck when needed. Bonnie’s daughter, Keri, also works at South Coast and is always there to help with a smile on her face. The third generation, Mia, is following in the footsteps. They’ve been in business for about 40 years, a little more than half of our 69 years in business, and are dearly loved by everyone who has ever shopped there. South Coast Supply helps everyone from contractors to someone who is just looking for a landscape project around the yard. My hat goes off to Bonnie and Keri for continuing to make South Coast Supply a great local vendor, and I encourage everyone to swing by South Coast Supply to find great service and prices!
And while you’re at South Coast you can also visit Garden Daze because they share a building! Garden Daze provides amazing accessories from pots to statues to succulents. South Coast Supply is a wonderful place to get your hardscaping, while Garden Daze is the perfect place to help decorate such hardscape.  One of my favorite projects ever is a mosaic sun over my outdoor fireplace, which all began with a sun from Garden Daze. Garden Daze can provide you almost any accessory your yard could ever need, and we hope you take our advice and stop on by!
Garden Daze
Precious Life Shelter

Local Nonprofits We Love to Support

Los Alamitos is home to some of the most generous and philanthropic people around; thus, it only follows that Los Alamitos is also home to some of the best nonprofits in the area. This article will focus on some of the most prolific nonprofits in the area and the good they are providing for the community. We at Sunset proudly support all these organizations, and we encourage you to read up on them and get involved if you are not already.

 

Casa Youth Shelter

Casa Youth Shelter is a nonprofit organization that offers emergency temporary shelter for homeless, runaway, and abandoned youth. Their mission is to provide a supportive environment so that the youth they assist can recover and redevelop personal strength in hopes of ultimately reuniting with their family. Myldred E. Jones opened Casa Youth Shelter in 1978 with a minimal budget and only one full-time employee, but the organization now has twelve beds in six bedrooms with a number of caring employees. Besides providing shelter for distressed youth, the organization also offers counseling, outreach to schools, youth leadership programs, and parenting classes. Below is an infographic with Casa Youth Shelter’s statistics from 2014, and it is clear to see the good this nonprofit is providing to the Los Alamitos area – this organization has truly come a long way since its opening in 1978. Here is the link for Casa Youth Shelter’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://www.casayouthshelter.org/

casa youth shelter

Los Alamitos Youth Center

The Youth CenterThe Youth Center looks to positively impact children through social, educational, and recreational programs. The Youth Center has developed partnerships throughout the Los Alamitos community with organizations like the Los Alamitos Unified School District, Rossmoor Community Service District, Seal Beach Lions and Leos Club, and many more – this means that many of the largest and most impactful events in the community have close ties to the Youth Center. In 1952, Frank Vessels, the Los Alamitos Race track entrepreneur, applied to the State of California for an additional race day and then used those funds to open the Youth Center. The Youth Center now continues to provide various programs and benefit to the community through donations from local individuals and businesses. Here is the link to the Youth Center’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://www.theyouthcenter.org/

 

Precious Life Shelter

Precious Life Shelter provides a safe environment for pregnant women with no place to live. Precious Life Shelter’s three step program provides various means of support which then allows these women to safely have their child, while simultaneously teaching them to become self-sufficient. The goal is not only to help these women in their time of crisis, but also to ensure that they are prepared for the responsibilities that come with life after childbirth. The program opened in 1989 and has since expanded, developing new programs and adding property to better support those women in need. Precious Life Shelter also operates a Thrift and Gift shop in which they sell extra donations not used by the residents and raise enough money to cover about 40% of the organization’s operating costs. Precious Life Center is another great nonprofit that has come a long way in supporting the Los Alamitos and surrounding communities. Here is the link for Pathways’ website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://pathwaystoindependence.org/

 

NCL

NCLNational Charity League or NCL is a mother-daughter philanthropic organization focuses on community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences. The organization formed in 1947 after two groups, one started in 1925 by a small group of women in Los Angeles and the other by their daughters in 1938, merged to create the first mother-daughter philanthropic organization. We are especially tied to the South Coast chapter of the National Charity League which is based in the Long Beach and West Orange County areas with most junior members attending Los Alamitos schools. The chapter supports philanthropies with hands-on service as well as monetary donations raised from their thrift shop, Miss Charity’s Attic, located on Cerritos Avenue, and their popular event Tournament Day, held every fall.  Here is the link to the South Coast division of NCL if you are interested in donating or volunteering: https://southcoast.nationalcharityleague.org/

 

WE CARE

WE CARE pools the resources of the community in order to meet the emergency needs of families and individuals. WE CARE offers emergency, referral, therapy, healthcare, and holiday services to ensure families in need can remain healthy and happy. Listed below are a few statistics showing how many people were helped by WE CARE from 2015 – 2017:

  • Food Distribution– 456 families/2,280 individuals were given 7,000 bags=140,000 lbs.
  • Hygiene/Personal Care– 275 families/1,375 individuals were given personal hygiene kits.
  • Food Certificates/Gift Cards– 75 families/375 individuals=$3,200.00
  • Rent/Mortgage– 170 households/850 individuals=$215,180.00
  • Utility Assistance– 47 households/235 individuals=$10,500.00.
  • Vehicle Supportive Services– 12 families/60 individuals=$3,072.00
  • Christmas Adopt-A-Family Program– 800+ children received toys
  • Case Management– 505 families/2,020 individuals

Sunset is happy to support a great nonprofit like WE CARE working constantly to better the Los Alamitos community. Here is the link for WE CARE’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://wecarelosalamitos.org/

 

Pathways to Independence

Pathway to Independence or Pathways works to transform the lives of disadvantaged young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare. Pathways was founded in 1994 and has always sought to help financially poor young women from backgrounds of abuse with higher ambitions of receiving an education or job. Through their services, Pathways is able to help a group of about 50 women at a time achieve such ambitions and become independent. Since its beginning no members or executives of Pathways have received any compensation whatsoever and about 88% of the program expenses went directly to the clients in 2015. We also love to support Friends of Pathways, which a subdivision of Pathways comprised of a small group of women who work to raise the money necessary for Pathways to function. This all just goes to show how Pathways is another great nonprofit working effortlessly for the betterment our community. Here is the link for Pathways’ website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://pathwaystoindependence.org/

Here is a promo video Pathways made back in 2013 with their founder Dave Bishop talking about their mission:

 

We truly believe that Los Alamitos is one of the best communities around, and this is largely in part due to these organizations. These nonprofits offer a wide variety of ways to get involved meaning nobody should have an excuse for not volunteering or donating. Regardless of personal preference, we are certain that everyone can find a way to help out and keep this community flourishing, so we encourage everyone to reach out to these nonprofits and help in some way, shape, or form.