MIXXER would not be possible without volunteers. Four years of conversations, planning, and finding ways to work together led to the first community makerspace in Winston-Salem, MIXXER, opening; and continued support by volunteers is helping us grow and improve.

I had an experience many years ago that led me to volunteering for Salvation Army. Actually, it was a serious traffic infraction on my part that led to performing community service. That experience made an impression on me that led to me committing at least 20 hours per month to volunteering at many different organizations. Ten years ago, when I found myself out of work, I volunteered five and six days a week to keep from fretting over being unemployed. This led to me developing the strongest and most rewarding relationships with people in our community, and frankly, it changed my life.

I consider myself very lucky to spend every day with people that volunteer their time and talents to make our community a better place. Some of them are simply doing small tasks that help make MIXXER a more welcoming place. Some of them have ambitions of making real social change in Winston-Salem and around the world. What they all have in common is a willingness to try to make a difference that makes their world a better place.

Can these little things by individuals make a difference?

I think these simple acts of kindness, sharing, and giving have ripple effects. I see that everyday here at MIXXER. If being a part of a community of people that are willing to share, to give, to help is something you are looking for, come on in. Come in to do your thing or come in to help us make a beautiful and effective makerspace, either way, you’ll have a chance to be a part of something that could change your life. And people that spend time at places like that are the people that change the world.

I’d like to thank a few of the people that only come to MIXXER to help make it a better place: Gretchen Duffy – your work with our social media and planning for CONNEXXPO is fantastic. Matias Silva – thank you for keeping our website working so well. Janet Smith – your ability to connect with people has made it possible to engage hundreds of people through our CONNEXXPO events. Michael Wharton – thank you for leading meetups at MIXXER for techies. Chandra Noyce – thank you for helping to revive our classes program. Christine Toole – thank you for the many things you do every week to help keep things working smoothly. Georgii Klimenko – We’re looking forward to our updated computer lab this fall. Mark Shill – your leadership as Board Chair has been key to our success. Malay Shah – thank you for the many ways you contribute to make our Tech Lab a success and keep our finances and bookkeeping in order. Brent Kensey – thank you for leading our efforts to build an electronic system to help keep our members safe.

There are literally another one-hundred or so people that I need to thank for all the things they do to help MIXXER continue to grow a community of people that help each other achieve their goals as makers, artists, innovators, inventors, craftspeople, and game-changers. To all of you, Thank you!