Recently, WalletHub published an article entitled “2023’s Best States to Live In.” Factored into their calculations were things like affordability, education, safety, and more. Where did New Mexico rank? Dead last.

As a third generation NM native, I cringe when I read this. I’m well aware that we have a myriad of problems here in the “Land of Enchantment.” However, what so often gets overlooked in these kinds of articles are the very things that make my heart soar when I consider all that New Mexico has to offer. There is no mention of our unsurpassed cuisine, fantastic weather, breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heratage, and a beautiful diversity of people.

It is the people of NM that, for me, make this the place I hope to grow old. If there is something we do very well, it’s community. Whether you are part of a faith community, cultural community, sport community or simply the community of foodies, we love to do life together. We rally around one another in good times and bad. From youth groups to senior centers, there are countless places to plug in and find your tribe.

One such emerging tribe is the group of dedicated volunteers putting their time and effort into Imagine, ABQ. This annual service day is so much more than picking up trash. It is a time for people from all walks of life to work on a variety of initiatives to help restore and inspire Albuquerque (NM’s largest city). It is volunteer work for our city, on behalf of our city, for the betterment of our city. Not only will this service day prove to leave a “better than you found it” tangible mark, it will also serve to share positive news about our community, as families, neighbors, and community groups come together to lend a hand.

If you’d like to get involved, the ask is simple: start where your feet are. By giving a few hours of your time and picking up a few bags of trash (or identifying another service project you wish to cary out), you not only serve your immediate area, but you become part of a larger movement, aiming to beautify Albuquerque while inspiring residents (and onlookers) to see our community through a different lens.

Mark your calendars for September 30th and plan to give a few hours of time between 9am and 2pm. Put on a red shirt (for visibility) and join a growing movement of community members that want to highlight that Albuquerque can be a great place to live. For more information, please visit:

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