“I like being involved in the community and I like making sure our community stays viable. I love it here. I love that it’s small. I love that everybody knows my business and I know everybody’s business.”
— Mardi Anson, Craig resident, about why she enjoys donating her time to various community agencies, causes and events
For many people, giving back to their home community is a way to show appreciation for the people and organizations that got them to where they are.
Resident Mardi Anson takes it to another level.
Anson, 40, is a third-generation Craig native who is active in many of Craig’s organizations and groups. The mother of two has been doing it for years and has a list of activities outside of her job that doesn’t seem to end.
“This is my fifth year on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce,” Anson said. “I’m involved in coaching with the city of Craig youth sports. I’ve been doing that since college. Ducks Unlimited, (husband) Mike and I have chaired that for 14 or 15 years. I’m a 4-H leader. I help with Grand Olde West Days. I help with the schools.”
But that’s not all of it. Anson assists with her mother’s annual Farm Days at her house and donates hay rides in a horse-drawn wagon throughout the year to various organizations and events around Craig.
Anson has been volunteering since her college years, and attributes much of her desire to be involved in the community to her parents’ example.
“My parents have always been donators,” she said. “I think that’s where I got it. My mom was a foster parent for years. I always remember Christmases having several extra kids in the house while growing up.”
Talk to her friends and you hear the same story — Anson is always giving her time to others, and sometimes too much of it.
“We giggle about how often it would just be nice to take a break,” friend Amy Peck said of Anson. “Every time she thinks she’s going to get through one event, she’s got another on the back-burner. She gives everything to everyone.”
Peck and Anson became friends after college when each was working at The Memorial Hospital after moving back to Craig. Now that friendship has extended through their husbands and sons.
Peck says Anson is an excellent friend who seems to manage her busy life with ease by not getting too serious about it.
“She’s a person that’s willing to wrap her head around anything new,” Peck said. “She’s willing to dive in and take anything on. There’s always one little hiccup, but it turns into something to giggle about. That’s what makes Mardi so beautiful, is she’s so laid back that those kinds of things don’t matter. It’ll all turn out, and it always does.”
For her part, Anson can’t get enough of volunteering and contributing in the community. She says she wishes there were more time to donate.
“There is a lot more I would love to do, I just don’t have much time,” she said.
That’s in part because aside from her volunteer work, Anson holds down a job at Anson Excavating. Similar to her role in the community, her job description is tough to define.
“I do the books, manage the office, I can drive a dump truck if it’s needed,” she said. “I’m the safety coordinator. I do everything. I’m fortunate to have a job like this though, where I can take time off to help the schools or take a day off to do hayrides for the kids.”
Anson’s drive to donate her time comes from a love for Craig and the type of community it is.
“I like being involved in the community and I like making sure our community stays viable,” she said. “I love it here. I love that it’s small. I love that everybody knows my business and I know everybody’s business.”
With such a busy schedule, it could be easy to put one group ahead of another or become difficult to make time for work or family life. But that’s not the way Anson operates.
Everything is important and gets her attention, from family and friends to volunteer opportunities and work. Peck said she's blessed to have a friend like Anson.
“I just feel very blessed to have her in our life,” she said. “She’s one of those people who’s one of a kind and you feel so lucky if you get to find one of them.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.