Meet Mary Miller, our 2021 Palm Springs Person of the Year

Palm Springs, and the entire Coachella Valley, is blessed with multiple nonprofit organizations addressing many important issues in our community. Every day, thousands of volunteers fan out to help tackle everything from homelessness to hunger. Their hard work and commitment are more than admirable, and often life-saving.

Mary Miller doesn’t have a nonprofit, let alone a board of directors to guide her. There aren’t thousands of volunteers stepping up to help her organization or donations she can lean on. Instead, she helped form something we can all agree is often the most powerful force in the universe.

“This is all about creating a sisterhood,” Miller explained in August, as she told her story to The Post over coffee. “We’re trying to be a fun, flexible group. We are just a group of women supporting other women.”

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Those women are called The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters, a group formerly known as “The Palm Springs 50-Plus Women’s Group” that Miller started on Nextdoor. Today, more than 250 local women of all ages are Sunshine Sisters, organizing on Meetup, where they plan dozens of events — from coffee chats and happy hours to participation in charity events. Group members recently donated more than $15,000 in toys and gift cards to Shelter From the Storm.

Admittedly, the issue Miller tries to tackle — loneliness — doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media. But it’s no less important, and it was especially crucial during the early stages of the battle against COVID-19. Many of us suddenly found ourselves isolated, unable to leave our homes, and trying to make connections through computer monitors instead of over cups of coffee.

In Palm Springs, Miller and her sisterhood successfully tackled that issue, while still managing to help others along the way. For that, The Post is proud to name her our 2021 Palm Springs Person of the Year.

We don’t have the budget for a gala, nor the marketing acumen to pull off a “Best Of Palm Springs.” But we did feel it was important to award Mary Miller with something for the difference she made in our community in 2021. So we made a plaque and presented it to her over coffee last week.

More information: Do you want to be part of The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters? Head to the group’s Meetup page here.


MONDAY: Our top 5 stories of 2021, according to the data

TUESDAY: Our readers weigh in on the top stories of 2021

WEDNESDAY: Palm Springs in 2021: A ‘Zoom Town’ emerges under the cloud of a pandemic

THURSDAY: Palm Springs in 2022: Time needed to build a better city comes face-to-face with reality

TODAY: Meet our 2021 Palm Springs Person of the Year


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