Inspired Works beginning to make impact quietly

By Victoria Martinez

Inspired Works, a new nonprofit organization, has been quietly yet diligently finding ways to make a positive impact on the Santa Ynez Valley.

“I had this idea for a long time where I wanted to give back,” said longtime Valley resident and Inspired Works founding member Ian Palmer.

Inspired Works encourages volunteers of all ages to make a positive impact on the community.
Photo by Victoria Martinez

With a goal of three projects a year, Inspired Works is reaching into the community to identify volunteer project opportunities that allow participants of all ages to give back.

The projects are all funded through business donations, direct donations, and T-shirt sales. Each project has a theme, and a coordinating shirt is designed and printed through Palmer’s business, Inspired Emotion. Of every $20 shirt donation, 100 percent goes back into Inspired Works projects.

The organization has completed two projects so far.

“Unity is Power” brought together volunteers for a number of facility projects at Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding. The most recent project brought more than 40 volunteers of all ages to Hans Christian Andersen Park for facility improvements and park beautification. The group joined together as “Faellesskab,” or community, and accomplished tasks such as painting, sanding, staining, planting, and installing signs.

A number of businesses volunteered their resources to help make the project possible. Manzanita Nursery donated all the carefully selected native plants, Birkholm’s Bakery and Albertson’s provided snacks and drinks, and Santa Ynez Signs helped the group engrave a large trail sign meant to warn visitors to be aware of their surroundings when riding or hiking.

In addition, Steve Cathcart of Cathcart Construction LLC and Jay Oliver of JBird Construction built an overhang that is now attached to the workshop that the Parks Department uses to maintain the park. The shade will protect tools, lumber, sand bags, and other materials from inclement weather.

The day ended with a barbecue for all volunteers.

“We hope to grow so we can continue to do work in our community and beyond.  It was so inspiring to see volunteers of all ages out to lend a hand,” Inspired Works President Lisa Norman said.

To get more information on volunteering or to suggest a future project for the group, visit