We typically use the word “community” to describe where we live, or where we come from. But there are so many connotations that can go along with our understanding. “Community” could be used to describe our sense of home, belonging or collectiveness — the idea of being part of a greater whole.

In more modern times, social media has added a new layer of meaning to the concept with community now also used to describe people who may not live in the same region but share similar thoughts, beliefs or interests.

But perhaps the greatest example of community can be found in the extensive effort nonprofits put into giving back.

There are so many nonprofit organizations in Pinal County, whose missions run the gamut from aiding area veterans to providing assistance to low-income households. Each seeks to add value to, or uplift, the communities they serve in some way.

Even more fascinating is how most have found unique and noteworthy ways to accomplish their missions.

Some examples include Jose’s Closet, which honors the memory of a foster child by providing other foster children and their families with clothing and other necessities; the Historic Florence Foundation, memorializing the town of Florence’s history through re-enactments; and the Lost Dutchman Marathon, which raises funds for local organizations through an annual race.

The focal point of this issue, however, is the Community Action Human Resources Agency. This month, CAHRA celebrated its 40th anniversary. In honor of those 40 years of service to Pinal residents, we’ve dedicated this particular issue of Pinal Ways to CAHRA.

Along with the other local nonprofits featured here, we cover how CAHRA came into existence, the services it provides and how those services can improve the quality of life for those that need their help.

Similar to our Fall 2020 issue, which includes a comprehensive listing of local restaurants, this season’s magazine provides a comparable guide of nonprofits located throughout Pinal. This directory gives basic information on these organizations and contact information.

Finally, for this season’s edition of Pinal in Pictures, we asked many of the nonprofits featured here to submit photos honoring some of their volunteers as a way to recognize all the incredible volunteers that help these charities accomplish all the amazing work they do.

Working on this issue was truly eye-opening due, in part, to the chance it offered to witness how many community members have banded to help others in times of great need — something the pandemic has underscored. We hope our Spring 2021 issue is illuminating for you, and maybe offers some inspiration on how you can give back in your local community.

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