Do more for your community | Coming of age…again

This year’s Viva Volunteers Fair is set for Oct. 19.

  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:30am
  • Opinion

By Rich Willard

Kirkland Senior Council

“Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.”

We all know that volunteering is important, no matter what age you are. The Kirkland Senior Council, EvergreenHealth and the city of Kirkland sponsor a volunteer fair each October to help would-be volunteers find their passion — whether it is helping adoptable animals, food banks, the environment, Kirkland parks and community events, health care, emergency preparedness or home building for those in need.

This year’s Viva Volunteers Fair is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 19 at the Peter Kirk Community Center, 352 Kirkland Ave.

This is an opportunity for everyone — whether you want to volunteer occasionally or frequently. Each year, I see families with young children looking for an activity that the whole family can do to help their community. Then there are high school students searching for the right volunteer opportunity to write about for their senior projects or to give them a broader range of community involvement for their college applications by helping in their community. We also see active older adults who now may have the time and the inclination to help organizations that need them and their expertise.

I know that many people think about volunteering for some worthy cause but fear that finding that “right fit” for their interests is too challenging and time consuming. Viva Volunteers is the perfect first step. This event allows would-be volunteers to dialogue with different nonprofit organizations before they decide which fits best with their passion and abilities. There will be 20-plus local organizations showcasing their programs and answering questions.

As an example, EvergreenHealth has more than 60 different volunteer positions in various departments, clinics and offices. EvergreenHealth is seeking information desk volunteers to help guide patients throughout the large hospital as well as assisting in the emergency department, filling supply carts and greeting patients and visitors. Other opportunities include supporting various clinical departments, assisting in the gift shops and clerical help in clinics and offices.

The staff at Imagine Housing will be looking for volunteers for their Raise the Roof event as well as looking for volunteer drivers to pick up vital supplies and make weekly deliveries for families with children, plus food delivery and farm delivery. Imagine Housing staff is also seeking individuals or small groups to provide and serve a community meal for residents.

Personally, I know that volunteering has given me an opportunity to help my community and an opportunity for personal growth. By getting involved, I have met fascinating people, learned from my involvement and widened my grasp of what services are available.

Please join us. There is free parking at the Kirkland Library. We will have snacks, coffee and many door prizes to make the day even more interesting.

As the late Erma Bombeck said: “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.”

We hope to see you embrace her idea within yourself.

Coming of Age…Again is edited by the Kirkland Senior Council, a group the city of Kirkland created in 2001 to advocate for older adults in our community. The council is made up of people living or working in Kirkland who want to improve and maintain the quality of life for people in Kirkland as they grow older. Membership is open throughout the year.

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