Bennion Deville Homes Palm Springs Main REALTOR® David Carden of the Carden Maguire Team is deeply rooted in the Palm Springs community. As the founder of Volunteer Palm Springs, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, his vision for improving the community and his lifelong endeavor to give back touches the lives of thousands. Volunteer Palm Springs’ latest initiative is to call attention to public safety and to put a stop to a string of roadway accidents involving cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. As a result, they are selling safety vests for pedestrians, bicyclists, and dogs to help increase visibility and decrease accidents. For these reasons, we shine a bright spotlight on the exceptional work David and Volunteer Palm Springs are doing.
Bennion Deville Homes [BDH]: What is it about this cause that is near and dear to you? Why do you want to bring awareness?
David Carden [DC]: I have been doing public/community service since I was 16 years old – I am now 68+ and have never stopped or looked back. My commitment to any city I have ever called home has been to help make it better and impact other peoples’ lives in a positive way.
I founded Volunteer Palm Springs in 2010 with only 30 people. Since then, our membership has grown to over 1,100+ members and we earned 501(c)3 non-profit status. In addition to finding volunteer opportunities for our members, our organization was looking for a way to create a community-based educational and public awareness program. For three-and-a-half years I volunteered with Citizens on Patrol and saw many accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists firsthand. It occurred to me I just might find the right combination of community involvement, volunteerism, and a cause to help make our city streets safer – and Voila! P.S. Cares (Palm Springs – Public Safety). I designed the heart-shaped logo because we want to make the month of February ‘Public Safety Month’ in Palm Springs. Hopefully these efforts will help further champion the cause.
BDH: What is your role in the roll out of P.S. Cares and the safety vest program? Any updates thus far in the campaign?
DC: I created the outline of the public safety program more than two-and-a-half years ago. We installed a committee who has worked tirelessly in developing a program which included tips for pedestrian, traffic, and bicycle safety in a positive way. Our goal is to get people to start talking about public safety and, in doing so, we hope to change their behavior to become safer. I feel we all have to take more responsibility for our own public safety and the best way to do it is to start paying closer attention and focus on what you can do to improve: Don’t speed, don’t travel distracted, mind the traffic laws, respect the road, and wear a safety vest at night! I know bad habits are hard to break, which is why we are partnering with the Palm Springs Police Department (PSPD) with this program. We will be co-hosting upcoming public safety seminars in the coming months. Our program is about education and awareness, PSPD will handle the enforcement – the perfect marriage.
BDH: Where can people find more information about the program or purchase the vests?
DC: Folks may visit our website – www.volunteerpalmsprings.org – for more information on both Volunteer Palm Springs and our P.S. Cares program. The vests are in stock and available for purchase. Even better, the program is self-sustaining. For every two adult safety vests we sell ($25 ea.) we are able to donate one to a senior citizen, person in need, or homeless person at NO cost. For every two dog vests we sell, we will be able to donate a vest to the Animal Shelter/Animal Samaritans at NO cost when people adopt/rescue a dog. In addition to our vest program, people can join our ‘Adopt-a-Senior,’ ‘Adopt-a-Dog,’ ‘Adopt-a-Homeless Person’ initiatives – all features on our website.
BDH: Beyond safety vest sales, is there anything else you are doing to raise awareness or funds for the program?
DC: We will be having our First Annual Fundraiser on Sunday, February 19th, for ‘Living the Modern’ Home Tour as part of the Modernism Week festivities. We expect to host 250 people which will provide the seed funds for purchasing the vests and paving the way for us to begin donations.
BDH: Is there anything else you would like to add about Volunteer Palm Springs or the P.S. Cares program?
DC: Our board is so pleased to be a partner with PSPD. Public safety is the #1 issue in Palm Springs and we hope our program is well received. As I like to say, ”Remember, there is nothing more valuable than a human life. The life YOU save just might be your own!”