Volunteering for the right reasons – Our community

On June 30th, 2013, 19 brave men died for what they believe in. I was at the Art Store in 2013. Working as I normally did. Too much. At the time, I thought the community really needed the support. The next day led to many tributes left on the fence around station 7. Then a huge storm hit it hard that afternoon. I found myself taping the posters left together with what we had. Trying to preserve what was needed for our community.

For the next two weeks I took the time to manage the tribute fence items. This lead to morning and evening checks of the items left. After two weeks, I was unable to handle the grief and many others stepped up.

Thousands of items were left at the fence during this time. The City of Prescott claimed these items for displays later in the years for the tribute fence project. They were stored after this point. Everyone of the items cataloged.

During my adrenal exhaustion recovery, I found myself designing a memorial for the Yavapai County Courthouse. This was one way I could grieve properly. I posted about this earlier.

To make the illustrations as accurate as possible, I was given access to take some pictures of the tools and equipment the Hot Shots used themselves as well as what was left at the memorial fence. IMG_2542

So as I am taking pictures one of the battalion chiefs comes in to discuss how the archives are to be moved. Moved?! I said wait where are they going? How will they be going? Who……Okay now I am interested. The reply was that they would need a conservation-minded person to pack every item for safety and deliver to the mall. I volunteered. After discussing the proper ways to do so with the curator, she saw that I was qualified. Since I was recovering, I decided why not do a good job in my own time. Volunteer for the community and the Hot Shots.

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So 100+ hours later and much help from the rest of the volunteers, our artifacts were packed and moved to the mall. Thousands of them. Each carefully wrapped and boxed.

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It was an honor to assist the community and the upcoming center. The bags were used to discourage scuffing and oxidation. Each flag was wrapped, bagged and boxed. Delicate job and no damage occurred due to great direction from the curator and years of study of archival methods.

These items were then taken to the new mall site by myself and at least 20 fire fighter volunteers. Everything was done marvelously.

It took about a week to unpack and properly organize the artifacts in their new archive storage.

 

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