Supporting our caregivers who volunteer in the community

There’s a spirit of service that runs deep in those who choose to work at Providence and our affiliate organizations. In addition to serving the poor and vulnerable in their daily work, many of our caregivers also give back to the community as volunteers for not-for-profit organizations that provide vital services to those in need.

I’m thrilled to announce a new program to celebrate these contributions and encourage an even greater level of volunteerism across our organization. Volunteers in Partnership, or VIP for short, will help our caregivers plug into volunteer opportunities in communities across the five states we serve.

Learn about programs in need of volunteers and sign up to help through our new VIP Web site. You can also add volunteer opportunities to support a not-for-profit in your community. Another exciting twist is our new grant program. Depending on the number of hours volunteered, we will make a donation to the not-for-profits our caregivers are passionate about and support.

Share your volunteer story

If you volunteer in the community, I would love to hear about the not-for-profit group you support. Share your stories in the comments section below. What inspires you about the organization and what do you find rewarding about volunteering?

Thank you for all you do. I look forward to improving the health of our communities, together, by contributing our time and talents to organizations that share our passion for addressing unmet needs. Imagine the difference we will make when all 82,000 of us collectively volunteer on behalf of the communities we serve.

135 Comments
  1. I volunteer at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Redmond WA. Little Bit offers hippotherapy and adaptive riding lessons for children and aduldts with disabilities.
    At the stables, I help tack up the horses for lessons, and side walk with the riders. I love interacting with the children, and watching how just a simple nuzzle from a horse can change a childs behavior and body mechanics.

  2. I volunteer with my 150 pound Newfoundland dog “Oakley” doing pet therapy through Pet Partners. We visit the Hopewell Hospice house and the Marque Memory Care unit. We sit with patients and families, sometimes talking sometimes not. We offer the patient and family a few moments of time where they do not have to think about their illness and can talk about something else and pet my dog. Patients and families find it relaxing and therapeutic. Sometimes it’s funny if Oakley is feeling playful and wants to roll around on the floor. I find the work to be a way I can refill my own cup sorta-speak so I can continue to give to others. It’s a win win situation.

  3. I came by my volunteerism quite by accident. My oldest son was needing to log some hours of volunteer time for his upcoming college applications, so we found an opportunity with the local historical steam railroad “Polar Express” event. He was not intrigued, and frankly was quite put out about being there. My younger son, on the other hand, was hooked! He loved everything about the train. He begged and begged for me to take him the next day, and all the days of the Polar Express for the remainder of the season.

    Initially, the older crewmembers were a little skeptical of this 12 year old kid hanging around, “looking for a free ride.” But I have watched them take my son under their wings and grow him into the amazing 15 year old he is now.

    I began volunteering there as well. Although I don’t do much with the train itself, I provide meals to the work crews, organize and decorate for the various train events and holidays, and sell tickets and merchandise in the depot and museum as well as on the train trips themselves. I once ran into a co-worker who commented, “aren’t you a little overqualified for this job?” I told him, “you’re never overqualified to volunteer!”

    I love that my son and I have this activity we get to do together. It has brought us closer to each other, and to the community, and we have made some great friends.

  4. My volunteer work is different from most.

    I am on the board for Herpetological Conservation International. We are a California based 501c3 that raises money to create reserves for endangered species. We primarily focus on reptiles- an under represented group. Our first large project is creation of a reserve in South Africa that will save a species of endangered chameleon whose entire range is only about the size of Disney World. We are expecting to buy land in 2016 that also includes other endangered species such as a monkey, a couple different insects, and many plants.

    My other volunteer work is for Animal Venom Research International. We are an all volunteer group who create, test, produce, and distribute location specific antivenom to underprivileged areas around the world. We also study venoms for medicinal uses in humans. My primary role with AVRI is as an educator to the public regarding snake bites. My other roles include working as an RN treating patients in trials, and education to staff in the care of snake bite victims.

    I have a passion for helping all kinds of people and creatures around the globe. My contribution may be small, and I will most likely not see an impact in my lifetime, but I am determined to do what I can to have a positive impact in the world around me.

  5. 4 years ago I completed my certification to become a Biblical Counselor. This took a little over 6 years to complete. I have always loved working as a Psychiatric nurse in an acute care setting and now I can follow up with longer term care outside of the hospital. I work under a church counseling ministry in Spokane, WA. My husband and I do couple counseling as well as individual counseling. It is a reward in itself. We love coming alongside those who are struggling to make sense of very difficult trials in their lives. Giving hope through faith based counseling has proved to be very effective for all who have come through the ministry. It is a free service to the community and is only advertised by word of mouth.

  6. I have been a volunteer Officer at the Port Orchard Police Dept for the past 5 years. My duties include Vacation house checks, Traffic direction for special events,parades and emergency situations. I also patrol store parking lots for violations of the handi-capped parking and issue citations to violators. As a former police officer I enjoy the work and comradship of being with the police community.

  7. I asked God what would he have me do for Him. It came through loud and clear. Grow a vegetable garden in my back yard. With God’s blessing I have a bountiful garden every year full of lots of vegetable and greens. I harvest what God has blessed and bring to work, church and the neighborhood. I feel blessed and so does the receiver. Good health starts with eating good things that come from the earth. God has also directed me to people who have mature fruit trees that are willing to share their bounty with others!

  8. I volunteer on my own picking up trash and pet waste in our wilderness area and in our neighborhood every week. I believe in setting an example. I have noticed that other residents are doing the same.

  9. I volunteer in two organizations. The first is the Alaska Innocence Project, which helps investigate claims of wrongful conviction. If new evidence is found, a motion for post-conviction relielf may be filed. I have assisted with research projects for an attorney in Alaska.

    The second organization I volunteer with, is Anchorage Community Mental Health Services. I serve as a Board Member, and do so, for a few reasons. The first is to help destigmatize the shame of mental illness and substance abuse. The second reason is because of my involvement with this organization, I am aware of the high costs on emergency room visits associated with many of these consumers. It is important we get people into treatment. However, I know from my experience in this type of service that finding providers can be difficult. Fortunately, Medicaid expansion in the State of Alaska may increase access to services.

  10. Medical Mission Adventures has partnered with “Children in Schools” in Pacoima, CA, to create a program removing tattoos on young adults who want to turn away from gangs, violence and drugs.
    I am so proud to be a part of this team by volunteering once a month using the Ellman laser to tediously remove ink on their bodies. It gives me an opportunity to talk with them while giving positive reinforcement for the healthy choice they have made!

  11. I am a 4-H Leader. I enjoy working with young people and serving as a positive influence in their lives. I have a miniature donkey that I allow the kids in my group to work with. We are trying to train him to become a therapy animal so that we can volunteer throughout the community. This shows my 4-H kids the importance of volunteering while also giving them hands-on experience with animals.

  12. For almost three years now, I have volunteered at my former employer of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as a volunteer in the No One Dies Alone program. As a Level 1 Trauma Center and Community Safety Net hospital, our mission population includes the indigent, homeless, mentally ill, emprisoned and anyone in need of care. No one is turned away. And many of the patients who come in may not survive their illness or trauma, so if any of these dying patients are alone, with no friends or family in the area or none at all, they are supported by our on-call volunteer staff who come to the bedside in shifts to sit vigil with them through their end of life. As a Provdence Hospice Nurse, this work is dear to my heart, but in doing this as a volunteer, it is a way for me to give of myself without the gain that comes from the financial reward of employment.

  13. I volunteer with a MultiCare program called “Bridges: A Center for Grieving Children”. The program supports families who have lost a member or have a member emminently facing death. In particular the participants that I work with are age 4-6 yrs and have lost a primary caregiver or a sibling. These families are in crisis and feel isolated by their circumstances.

    As a community volunteer I develop group facilitation plans and facilitate multiple sessions a month, for our youngest program participants. We focus on meaningful play. The goal is to provide our littles an opportunity to find community, learn coping techniques through play, and provide the greater family with support on how to deal with the manifestations of childhood grief.

    I feel so greatful that I am allowed to play with these kiddos! They are amazing! I get a warm feeling when we read “When Dinosaurs Die” and my kids are able to find vocabulary to express their grief. Also, the planning allows me to be creative and the facilitation allows me to be silly in ways that I am not afforded in much of the rest of my life. 🙂
    What I love about volunteering?

  14. I am a Girl Scout leader of an active troop of second graders. Girl Scouts develops the girls self esteem while learning they can make a difference in their community. Our troop has voluntered with senior citizens, made cat beds for the animal shelter, made and donated special medical teddy bears to Children’s hospital, helped Ronald McDonald house, stuffed stockings for Holly House (non-profit organization that provides Christmas gifts to children in need) and collected needed items for our local elementary school. It is a joy to work with these girls and see them discover that you can have fun while making a difference.

  15. I’m very involved in my church which supports the website http://www.justserve.org. It sounds like they have similar goals as VIP. I would be happy to help y’all get in touch with them if VIP was interested in collaboration. I know JustServe would love to have more partners.

    “JustServe matches faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations that need volunteers with volunteers willing to help. JustServe.org links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to serve.

    Once we know what the needs are, we tell you about them here on JustServe then you can go and help get the job done. We make it easy to sign-up and show-up, on your time and in your way.

    JustServe.org is provided as a service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following the Biblical admonition to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” JustServe provides opportunities to relieve suffering, care for the poor and needy, and enhance the quality of life in the community. JustServe is not for proselytizing or publicity–simply a service to help link community volunteer needs with volunteers.”

  16. I am currently volunteering at Care Net Pregnancy Center of Thurston County, which provided pregnancy resources for women facing unexpected pregnancy. We provide classes on topics such as nutrition and infant/child CPR, prenatal vitamins, first trimester ultrasounds, pregnancy testing, STD testing, and resources for dental insurance and OB providers. We also give out vouchers that can be spent in the Baby Boutique to buy clothes, diapers, blankets, or other donated items. It is a great way to provide a caring service to women in my community and to give them the support and love they need during what may be a very tumultuous time in their life!
    I work at Providence St Peter Hospital as an RN and chose to volunteer here in order to use my nursing skills in the community. Scheduling is somewhat of a challenge, but so far my manager has done a wonderful job of making sure I have my volunteer day off. Providence provides many services to their community, and I hope to offer my skills where I can as well.

  17. I have volunteered for 2nd Harvest Food Bank, helping sort food to be distributed to our local Spokane food banks. I have also volunteered for Blessings Under the Bridge and is one of my more favorite charities to give my time to. I enjoye connecting with the people coming through receiving a hot, delicious meal who may have otherwise not received one. It’s an amazing feeling. For 10 years, I have been a team captain for a team which has participated in the Eastern Washington Race for the Cure – another great cause near and dear to my heart. Through Providence I have also served a lunch meal at the House of Charity through Friends of Emilie. Another great way to connect with those in our community.

  18. I am very pleased to share that I have been a member of Assistance League of Everett, Kitty Young Auxiliary.
    This Auxiliary is a group of women who often are working so hours for volunteering often fall outside the 9-5, M-F hours.
    We raise money along with the larger chapter to provide new clothing for over 4,000 students in Snohomish County each year through Operation School Bell. Each student gets a coat, hat, scarf, mittens or gloves, 6 prs of underwear and socks, jeans and t shirts, as well as a new book. Many students look forward to this experience as their only ability to get clothing each year. Shoe vouchers are also provided on availability.
    In addition, our auxiliary has the following programs:
    – Adopt a school, where three schools which fall into the greater need category receive food for their student weekend nutritional needs (often homeless high school students, those without access to food any other way)
    – Sexual Assult Kits for victims which include new underwear and “sweats” for 5 centers in Snohomish County, including Providence Hospital. These replace garments that are taken for use as evidence and are extremely important to the women, men, and children, who are being evaluated and treated.
    – Scholarships through Everett Community College
    – Graduation parties as well as hair cuts and grad pictures for two althernative high schools, again, these students have great needs.

    This program is local, has 100% volunteer staff. The women I volunteer with are fantastic ladies and I am proud to call many my good friends after 15 years. I searched a long time to find a group where my contributions make a difference.

  19. I have been volunteering with the Ballard Ecumentical Homeless shelter for the mentally ill for the past 18 years. I first started as an overnight companion for our guests and now I am a dinner provider.

  20. This will be my 10th year volunteering as Camp Doc for the Moyer Foundation Camp Erin. Founded by Jamie and Karen Moyer, The Moyer Foundation created and supports Camp Erin, the largest network of free bereavement camps in the country for children and teens who are grieving a significant loss. We have 3 of these camps in Washington State. Each year I enlist my family to help make fleece blankets for the campers, I attend volunteer preparation sessions, organize medical supplies, and meet with parents. Then off we go to our June weekend camp at the YMCA Camp Seymour near Purdy on the Kitsap Pennisula. At camp our amazing group of counselors, “big buddies” and grief support staff spend 2 days and nights working with, listening and talking to, playing with, and being there for 50-75 kids. It is always an incredibly moving, exhausting, exhilarating weekend, and I feel honored to be able to help by taking care of the usually minor injuries and discomforts of the campers and staff.

  21. I sit on the board of directors for The Goodtimes Project. It’s a camp for kids with cancer on Vashon Island and has been around for over 30 years. It allows kids to be kids even when they are most vulnerable due to the outpouring of support from physicians, nurses and other volunteers. I went there as a kid for all three episodes of cancer that I had back in the 80’s. Now I get to give back as a board member. The best part is that the camp does not charge any family a single penny for the week at camp, it’s all run on donations. Last year we served about 30 kids from Providence Alaska in addition to the 200+ kids from other local Washington organizations.

  22. I enjoy going to St Francis House every Friday night from 6:30-9:00PM.
    This non-profit clothing bank has been a part of our family for 7 years. As I interview low-income families and homeless people, I realize how lucky we are that we have a roof over our head, food on the table and clothes on our back all the time. My 2 boys are excited to help during the back to school program in August and I explained to them why these kids get backpacks full of supplies.

    Sister Pat Michalek, OSF, who is the Director has become a friend and has been a great support during my 2 bouts with breast cancer.

    I hope to continue helping these people in our community.
    http://www.puyallupfrancishouse.org

  23. It is awesome to see so many Prov people contributing to worthy causes they are passionate about in addition to their paid ‘work lives’.

    I have been active in rescues, training and board strategic work with
    http://EverettMountainRescue.org/about/ for 8 years in the ways and times I can contribute locally, state and nationally.

    My Team responds to 911 call outs from the Sheriffs Department to assist with everything from sandbagging flooding rivers, educating preventative outdoors safety to groups, searching for missing toddlers or alzheimers people to dramatic rescues of people lost or injured in the rugged weather of the Cascades.
    Many more opportunites exist to assist people in need at Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue https://www.scvsar.org/ or your local SAR groups.

  24. I help with Huts for Hope and Filling Empty Bellies.

    Huts for Hope builds small, portable, safe huts for people to live in, store their belongings. They are waterproof and safe. They are made and distributed in the Washington Peninsula area-Long Beach, Ilwaco, Ocean Beach; and in Vancouver.

    Filling Empty Bellies feeds homeless people in Astoria. We make food for distribution along with collecting supplies for men (all Veteran’s) that recently have gotten into housing.
    Please donate to them (together they are one non-profit) on website or gofundme.com.

    I also am part of a Telemedicine workgroup for ONA.

  25. I have volunteered at Birthright International with our local chapter here in Walla Walla, WA since 1994. At Birthright, the mission statement is “It is the right of every pregnant woman to give birth and the right of every child to be born.” This non-profit organization provides free services for pregnancy test, maternity clothes, baby clothes and referrals to agencies who provide the clients with free legal and medical advice in addition to housing referrals. There are no paid staff, so all donations go directly to the clients who walk in our doors. The clients at Birthright feel loved by the volunteers who listen to their story. We help them plan for their unplanned pregnancy by supporting them emotionally and educate them with fetal development. Birthright has enabled me to use my own life story as a mother of five children and someone who was adopted herself. Since I work part time as a clinical medical technologist in the lab, I help train volunteers to perform the urine pregnancy tests. It is a very rewarding organization, especially when the mothers bring their babies to show us after they deliver!

  26. For over 10 years, I’ve been on the Board of Directors for the Kennydale Neighborhood Association. This is part of the City of Renton’s Neighborhood Program which promotes strong neighborhoods and community involvement. Our activities include distributing information affecting our neighbors; General Meetings with presenters relevant to the health of the neighborhood; collecting contributions of Socks and Underwear, and School Supplies that are distributed through Kennydale Elementary School’s community liaison; litter pick-up parties; an annual food drive; yearly ice cream socials and a picnic serving as many as 700 neighbors; and much more. A strong, connected community is better able to find and serve those in need.

  27. My family volunteers at Union Gospel Mission (UGM) in Spokane. During the summer months, my elementary aged boys join us. We serve a meal each time, helping people gain a basic necessity. We also benefit from our experience. In addition, we appreciate that UGM is a Christ centered avenue for many people to receive the counseling, support, and safety needed to reform after addiction. It is wonderful to see lives transformed from month to month.

  28. I am a social worker employed with Swedish Medical Group, Ambulatory Behavioral Health program. I am assigned to the Factoria Primary Care Clinic in Bellevue, Washington. I volunteer as a commissioner for the City of Bellevue Human Services. The commission advises the city council on the human services needs and issues in our community. We also review and make recommendations on applications agencies submit to the city for funding of their services. It is very fulfilling work and keeps me well informed of the resources available, complimenting my work wonderfully.

  29. In late 2009 I met the Homeless Student Liason/Coordinator for the Beaverton School District (Lisa Mentensana). She gave a presentation at our church (Cedar Mill Bible Church) and told us that on average, there can be more than 2000 homeless students (Kindergarten through 12th Grade) in our school district. I was blown away. How – in Beaverton – home of Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Intel, Tektronix, etc., etc., etc – do we have more than 2000 homeless students? I somewhat flippantly said to Lisa, “We should knit and crochet one item for each of those kids.” She chuckled and said, “I don’t want to discourage you – but people just don’t do intentional stuff for these kids. It would be lovely. But I don’t think its possible.”
    I took that as a challenge.
    That first year we were able to raise $26,000 worth of yarn and needles to distribute to willing volunteers and we did meet that goal of getting small (hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, socks, slippers, etc.) items into the hands of each of the kids.
    We continue on. We try to make sure that the kids end up with lovingly, intentionally, beautifully, hand-crafted items made with beautiful quality materials each year. We’ve also added the CEYP (Continuing Education for Young Parents) school – school aged moms and their babies – to our scope.
    Its a joy. Those of us who are crafters love any excuse to pick up needles and craft for these kids – things that they’ll proudly wear, and enjoy – hopefully – for years to come.

  30. Sparks of Hope is a 100% volunteer based program.

    Our Mission is to empower children who are survivors of abuse to thrive by providing special services to encourage hope, and by creating opportunities that will develop trust and healing so they can achieve lifelong success.

    To accomplish our mission, we grant wishes to these children. Abused children usually only wish for the simplest gifts, such as a new pair of shoes, musical instruments, lessons, or a birthday party. The simple things we take for granted can be the very thing they never have had the opportunity to experience.

    To encourage continued healing and success, we offer mentoring and healing camps to teach them to move in their healing journey from victim to survivor, survivor to thriver, and from thriver to mentor. These life skills will allow them to one day be mentors themselves.

    Sparks of Hope has several programs available for our children, including camps, mentoring programs, healing K9’s, Youth and Parental Support Groups, and Young Adult and Teen Speakers Bureau.

    Please see http://www.sparksofhope.org for more information on our programs and volunteer opportunities.

  31. I volunteer for American Cancer Society and March of Dimes fund raising every year. I volunteer as leader for the Nurse Practitioner Group of Spokane to bring primary care education and updates to all the nurse practitioners in the region.I also volunteer at my chruch St. Luke Lutheran in Spokane

  32. Through an organization at my church known as Skidette’s, I have been involved in the provision of 200 lunches for the Cardinal Manning Ctr in Los Angeles for about 15 years. This began as an activity with my daughter when she was in jr high & high school. Every Saturday morning, a group of dedicated individuals gather to make sandwiches and assemble 200 lunch bags, adding a piece of fruit and cookies or other sweet, all donated by local organizations. These are delivered to the center for distribution. My life has been blessed, and this is my way to give back to those less fortunate.

  33. I volounteer alongside my brother with Special Olympics Washington. We coach basketball, soccer and bowling for Everett. We spend about 2 hours on Saturday coaching the teams to perform to the best of their ability and mostly to have fun while competing. We have been doing this for over ten years and most of our athletes have stayed on with us and now are lifelong friends. Once in awhile one of our teams wins regionals and is invited to the state olympic games and that can be the most rewarding weekends of the year.

  34. I and members from my church volunteer once a month at the Portland,OR City Teams Mission. We serve food to 90 to 150 homeless people. Portland City Teams serves breakfast & dinner every day except for Sunday to the homeless and provides AAA programs. I sell a product for a friend that makes microwave bowls ” never burn you fingers again taking something out of the microwave” all the procedes goes to a ministry in Sierra Leon, Africa. My friend is a retired RN who takes short mission trips there to help out at the clinic. Places I would like to mention that needs help is 5Rock Ranch in Yamhill, OR and The Fathers Heart in Oregon City, OR. What gives me great joy(internal) is knowing that I am doing God’s work. His unfalling love and faithfulness is abundant and I am paying it forward. Gives me peace, satisfaction that I am making a difference in others lives.

  35. I have taught Sunday school for about 28 years at Faith Bible Church, preschool and grade school. For several years I have been on the MESA board of Directors. This is a partnership between WSU, Eastern Washington University and Spokane public schools. MESA stands for math,engineering, science achievement and promotes STEM education for minorities and women.This year I am the board chair for a three-year term. The endeavor I am enjoying the most right now is respite house parenting at Life Services Maternity Home. I relieve the residential house parents two or three evenings a month so they can have a date night and a day off. Maternity Home provides a family-style home for young women, teens and early 20s, pregnant with limited resources.

  36. I go to Panama each year with the church mission group for 10-14 daysand provide healthcare to the Guymi Indians–have no access to healthcare.–Our group also provides clean water systems, dental care, education, vacation Bible school programs for the children

  37. I volunteer in Long Beach at New Life Beginnings. This is a NFP home that women who are on thier own and have babies or are pregnant can live for long periods of time as they are going to school and getting on thier feet can live for free until they are ready to be on thier own. They teach them how to be independant and life skills and help them get going on the right foot. Many of them have gone on to nursing schools while staying in this home. Most importantly they share God’s love with them!

  38. I have found my volunteering niche working for Salvation Army’s white shield center. This center serves the needs of pregnant and parenting clients between the ages of 12 and 18. Each client was placed there from social services or juvenile justice systems. The teens receive education regarding parenting classes and well as general schooling. I am able to meet with them on a consistent schedule and play the role as a mentor during a very vulnerable and challenging season in life. It has been an honor to empower adolescents to lead healthy and productive lives in their families and communities.

  39. Once a week I volunteer at an organization called ROOTS (Rising Out Of The Shadows), a shelter for 18-24 year olds experiencing homelessness in the U District in Seattle. This is the largest shelter for young adults in King County if not the state of WA, offering 49 spots for young adults to shower and sleep 365 nights a year. During my shift, I help prepare bedding rolls for the guests’ mats, prepare the bathroom for shower shifts, offer donated clothing to guests in need, and connect with young people. This is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, second only to raising my daughter.

    I’ve been struck by how fragile many of our guests’ lives are; sometimes having a volunteer ask a few questions and really listen makes all the difference. I’ve been amazed and impressed by these young people; my own assumptions have been brought to light and challenged in the best way possible. I’ve been able to help a guest actively withdrawing from heroin connect with his brother on Facebook to ask (and receive) help; I’ve been able to listen to a guest who proudly showed me his class schedule at Shoreline Community College where he is now able to take classes toward his GED (free of charge, for young people experiencing homelessness!).

    This has been a profoundly moving experience and reminds me how privileged and lucky I am, and that not every young person has a loving person in his or her life. I’m so glad to have this opportunity.

  40. I am a blood donor. I give platelets every 2 weeks. I consider this my community service. The Blood Bank of Alaska just had its grand opening of an impressive new facility. I encourage others to donate. You never know when YOU may be in need. !!!

  41. I volunteer with Raphael House of Portland. Raphael House provides housing, resources and other important services to those suffering from domestic violence (primarily women and children). Providence in Oregon donated the land that is the location for their shelter (a lovely facility).

    This is a very important community service and organization that has a mission closely aligned with Providence – as well as the overall goal of population health!

  42. I’m so excited that this program will help us raise money for a charity we are passionate about. I volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The support from Providence could help us offer more community training sessions and resources for families in need.

  43. I have been collecting cans for at-risk-youth around Clatsop County since July of 2015. Providence Seaside has supplied recycling bins, bags, and the support to do this. They allowed the bins to be set-up around the hospital and the money for the cans is being collected and stored. The project’s rough name is called Kanz-4-Kids, based off a sister program ran through the Northwest Human Services in Salem, OR. I spent many hour in my high school days volunteering and went Transitioning Living Program and Host Program. Their program helped me out so much and I owe a lot of thanks to them for providing me with the resources to keep me off the streets and homeless. It was always my goal once I became established in my career to give back and give support when the oppurtunity arose. Although there is not a designated place where the money from the cans deposit will go yet, I am searching. I contacted the local juvenile department, community action center, DHS, and the police station there is not a specfied place for homeless youth in the community. Long term goal is to contact local buinesses and have a designated drop off spot where if more people would vonunteer we would deposit cans weekly/monthly, maybe even partner up with Big brother ans Big sister’s and help the funding.

  44. I have volunteered in many ways over the years. This past year I have been volunteering in a program sponsored by St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. After seeing a need for someone in Centralia to offer food to the homeless and/or hungry on Saturday’s, a program was begun which has been called the ‘Mobile Ministry’. A hot meal is served at noon each Saturday, together with a sack lunch that can be used for dinner that night or kept until Sunday. Between 27 to 61 homeless and/or hungry individuals have been served each Saturday. In the beginning, we worked and served outside on the Salvation Army’s parking lot but, recently, were invited inside to use their superb dining room. There are approximatley 6 – 10 volunteers who provide the meals, do the cooking and serving, as well as prepare the sack lunches. To those homeless individuals who have dogs, for both protection and companionship, a zip-lock bag of dry dog food is offered, filled with enough food to last for a week. Overall, it has been a wonderful experience to be able to offer a warm meal and a warm welcome to the homeless in the Centralia area. We just passed our one-year anniversary and hope to be able to serve and offer this rewarding ministry for many years to come.

  45. I volunteer for the Bloom Project in Portland, a nonprofit that provides beautiful, fresh floral bouquets to hospice patients. My love of flowers, and the desire to provide a bit of joy to those near end of life led me to this worthwhile cause. They are distributed to both hospice and palliative care groups for delivery to the patients by the caregivers. What could be more fun that getting together with a group of people, sorting, preparing and arranging a variety of colorful flowers!

  46. For 11 years I have volunteered and been a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Over the course of those 11 years I have mentored 3 girls. I love being a mentor and I find that although I was not expecting it, I gain almost more from it than the girls I mentor. To inspire young girls to be confident, to stay in school and to see outside of the current situation they are in is a wonderful experience.

  47. I have been an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America since 2010. I served 5 years as a Den leader and now am the Cubmaster of our local public school’s Cub Scout Pack. I lead a group of adults who serve as den leaders and plan and coordinate activities defined by the Boy Scouts of America.

    Scouting serves so many young boys as they grow and change and eventually become young men. It promotes healthy living through activity in the outdoors, service in the community and boys learn about citizenship, faith and morals.

  48. My Husband and I, who are both Registered Nurses for Providence, volunteer for Catholic Youth Organization summer camps. These summer camps are a place for children to go let loose and be kids. They are free to be an individual free from the usual confines of the social expectations of school. Children of going into 1st grade through 12th can participate in activities such as hiking, swimming, rock wall climbing, high ropes challenge courses, boating, horse back riding, river rafting, archery,and arts and crafts. Many youth participate and learn skills at summer camp that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience. CYO camps encourages youth to register and has funds set aside to offer scholarships so that no one should find camp cost prohibitive. My husband and I volunteer our time working as camp Nursing staff every summer and have for many years now.

    • Thanks for sharing, Brenda, and thank you to you and your husband for all you do for our youth. Be sure to sign up on our new Web site so you can track your hours toward a grant for CYO, and if they have volunteer needs, you can promote it on the site to let our caregivers know.

  49. Since 2000 I’ve been volunteering with Safe Kids Snohomish County. Our mission is to eliminate injury and death in children ages birth to 19. We do this by coordinating countywide efforts, reducing the duplication of services and creating one message. Our main focus is fall prevention, motor vehicle safety, bike/skate/ski helmets, drowning prevention, home safety and poisoning. In addition we have also included gun safety in the past year. We are a not for profit and run soley on grants and donation. Providence has been our lead organization since 1999 — with that being said, 75% of the work I do for Safe Kids is on my own time/volunteer.

    • Thanks for sharing and for all you do. I am glad Providence is involved with this organization. Be sure to sign up on our new site to track your hours toward grant funding.

  50. I do many different volunteer events. Collect food for the needy and donate to food bank in Oregon, collect school supplies for the children in Washington County, Oregon. Through an organization I belong to we do fundraising for Shriners, Cancer research, Providence Heart, ALS and several more.
    Currently I am signed up for March 26th,2016 with Solve and do the beach clean-up on the Oregon Coast.

    • Marie, thank you for supporting the community in so many different ways. Hope you’ll check out our new volunteer site if you haven’t already.

  51. For the past 5 years my family has lead a volunteer group each month as part of the South Sound Dream Center in Federal Way. We bagged up groceries and handed them out door-to-door in a local low income neighborhood. The relationships we built with the residents was rewarding. The families appreciated the extra food for their pantries as well. The South Sound Dream Center works with homeless population, low income families and children living in low income neighborhoods. It’s an awesome organization to be part of.

    • Sounds like a great organization and it’s great to hear that you involve your whole family. This population is among our most vulnerable. Thank you for going door to door to reach out to them. Remember to sign up on our new website so you can track your hours toward a grant.

  52. I volunteer at the shelter for homeless teenagers in Spokane, Wa (Crosswalk) which is managed by Volunteers of America. I cook dinner one Friday each month, coordinating this with a group of volunteers from my church. I have done this for the last 20 years and have loved every minute of time I spend there. I began my time there as a response to having my 16 year old daughter run away, and wanted to be part of making sure that all teens in that position would be cared for and helped on their journey. I cook wholesome meals with comfort foods, and interact with the teens as I am cooking- I ask them about their days, tease them about snacking and ruining their appetite- I act like a mother to them- which is something that alot of these teens have not experienced enough in their lives. Some Fridays, as I go from work to Crosswalk, I tell myself that I am tired and wish I could go home- but as soon as I get there and start working on the meal I feel the joy that comes from helping others and know that there is no where else that I would rather be!

    • What a wonderful story. I’m sure these teens appreciate having a mother figure like you to make them a warm meal. Thank you for all you do for them. Remember to sign up on our Web site so you can track your hours toward a grant for Crosswalk.

  53. I love this VIP idea! At East Gresham Elementary School, free breakfast is offered and 84% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. Our church received reports from this neighboring school that many students did not have enough to eat on the weekends and were coming back to school hungry. This affected their ability to pay attention and learn in the classroom. In response to this need in our local neighborhood, Grace Community Church formed the “Backpack Blessings” program, which I’ve coordinated for the past six years. This program gives out backpacks full of kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare food every weekend during the school year to students from kindergarten through 5th grade from East Gresham Elementary School. Over $20 worth of food goes into each backpack every week. Only non-breakable items, items with pop-tops lids, and meals that are microwavable are provided. This allows students whose parents may be absent on the weekend to prepare the food for themselves. Every week students are provided with a box of cereal, a loaf of bread, and peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish. They also receive 100% fruit juice boxes, applesauce or fruit cups, pudding cups, macaroni and cheese singles, soup, and Chef Boyardee meals. Additionally, they receive a variety of single-serving snacks every week, including raisins, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, pepperoni sticks, Nutrigrain/cereal bars, granola bars, and microwave popcorn. Research has shown that households with lower incomes have less resources with which to purchase healthier foods. To promote healthier eating, last year I started including fresh fruit each week in the backpacks. This year, we have additionally been able to provide baby carrots and string cheese. We recognize that there are likely siblings in the home, so enough food is provided so that it can be shared with other family members. Thus far this school year we are giving out 35 backpacks every week and my goal is to continue to grow each year to serve more students.

    • Incredible story. Thank you for coordinating these efforts. What a difference you are making. Be sure to sign up on our new Web site so you can track your hours and earn toward a grant. Thank you for taking the time to share you story. Inspiring.

  54. My heart is with the American Cancer Society.
    I participate because I know that by raising funds and walking in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event, I will help save lives from cancer.

    It’s overwhelming to think that millions of people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. It might be someone close to us – or you or me…
    I have been a participant in Relay for Life since 2009. I will never forget that evening when my phone rang and i heard those teriible words from my sister. “I just talked to Pennie, Its cancer” 7 years later, just writing those words brings back that knot in my stomach and the burning in my eyes. I come from a background that cancer is a death sentence. Just before my 21st birthday, my father was diagnosed, and did not survive to see my 22nd. I had spent 20 years working in nursing homes and intensive care units. Hope was not the greatest feeling in those circles. Pennie is still with us, and is cancer free. In the last 10 years, I have quit counting, I have lost some friends, loved ones, coworkers, and acquaintances to this terrible disease. I have also watched friends, coworkers, and loved ones survive. Just 18 months ago, I sat alone in a surgical waiting room and heard the most dreaded words I could imagine. “its a cancer” I heard those words coming from the mouth of a surgeon I have worked with for many years and hold in the highest respect. I dont have a clue what else he said to me. In those 18 months I have watched my dearest friend, confidant, life partner, Husband endure daily radiation treatments, loose over 100 pounds. Suffer with burned skin and tissue, only to find out the cancer had returned. His voicebox was removed, he now breathes through a hole in his throat. I will never hear his voice again, just an electronic substitution reminding me that I must still fight. The damage is great, and it continues, But he is here, fighting, and winning every battle
    My friend, partner, and spouse is still here and will be for years to come I am sure.
    There is Always Hope.
    I spend my year drumming up ideas and fundraising, culminating in the Relay Event in June. My Team and I will spend 20 hours on a track walking. Why do I walk all night? My sister, my husband, my friend, my parents, never had the luxury of saying I am tired, I dont want to do this anymore. I walk through the night in honor of their fight, and the fact they they never give up, so I dont either.
    I will keep on asking, I will keep telling my stories, I will keep listening, I will keep caring.
    There is Always Hope
    I might be a broken record, I have been avoided, judged and criticized. I have even been called a loser by people who SHOULD get it.
    I will keep on untill no one has to hear those awful words again

    There is Always Hope

    • Thank you for sharing with us. I agree, there is always hope. Thanks for keeping it alive through your volunteer work. The cancer society is a great organization that gives hope to many thanks to volunteers like you.

  55. I feel drawn to volunteer where women choose to better themselves and seek help doing so. For years I have volunteered at the YWCA’s Women’s Opportunity Center during my lunch hour conducting mock interviews with women trying to get back into the work force. It is so rewarding to impart my knowledge to these courageous women.

    • What a great way to give back and support women getting back into the workforce. Be sure to sign up on our new volunteer web site so you can track your hours toward a grant for the Y.

  56. The Sierra Club offers Volunteer Vacations, where a person can get away and do something for wilderness and/or threatened areas. Activites include: trail work, trail building, invasive plant management, barbed wire removal, building and/or improving public use facilities, and more. A person can go somewhere they’ve never been, or even do something in their home State. I’ve done 3 of these vacations and have really enjoyed them.
    *My previous employeer allowed employees up to one (1) week of charity work, without having to use their PTO. It was a very popular program with the staff.

    • Thanks for sharing this and the suggestion. Sounds like a very rewarding way to spend a vacation. Hope you’ll check out our new volunteer web site. Take care.

  57. So great to see this come through! I LOVE working for Providence. 🙂
    I help with a ministry called Angel Blanket Ministries, we send blankets to those who meet our criteria on our web page. We receive requests via our email address from those that see someone else in need of God’s love, make a blanket that meets their interests or colors they like and ship them out free of charge, anonymously. We send all over the United States and have also sent to our military men/women overseas. I am so honored to be able to sew with this small group of women, there are 5 of us total, and we make about 10 blankets a week. We are a non-profit and work mainley off of donations and shop for majority of our fabric on Black Friday when we can make our money go the furthest. Warms my heart.

    • I bet the blankets warm the hearts of those who receive them and what a nice surprise. Thanks for sharing your story and for sharing your sewing gifts with others.

  58. My family and I are Volunteers for the Clackamas County SON shelter through our Church. SON stands for Sheltering Our Neighbors. Churches in Gladstone, Milwaukie, Oregon City and West Linn share a two-week rotation. This is an access point service for individuals and families who wish to find permanent housing.

    We currently also Foster kittens for PAWS in West Linn.

    • I love hearing that your whole family is involved. Housing is such an important issue in our communities. Thank you for volunteering for this shelter project, and for your work with PAWS as well.

  59. I have made Renton my home for the last 7 yrs, though this past year I’ve moved to Des Moines, WA.

    Because I am actively involved in my church, it gives me many opportunities to serve as a volunteer. Because I believe in servanthood, this allows a GREAT place to serve with a grateful heart and unconditionally. With that these are the places I have served:

    1. ARISE (Men’s Homeless – Outreach- Making dinner meals and lunches)
    2. Carenet Ministering with women contemplating abortion and giving them options.
    3. Serving once a month at the Renton Salvation Army
    4. Helping preparing for our OUT REACH team Annually for their trip to Mexacli

    There is NOTHING more greater than to serve and see ones impact on ones life in a productive way.

    • It’s great to hear about all the ways you support your community through your church. You are making an important difference. Thank you for all you do.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read this, I do like to involve my grandkids, especially the ones that I most care for on the weekends, if there is anything (Mother’s Joseph’s garden) that they can share in doing I’d love to bring them to that?

  60. I volunteer as an assistant coach with the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club through Seattle Parks and Rec at Green Lake. It is wonderful exercise and I enjoy working both with the teen sprint teams and the older (like myself) paddlers.

    • Paddling is a great activity to be involved in. Thanks for helping to make it available to more people in the community.

  61. I am so happy to see this program. There are so many people in our organization that make a difference in our communities and I’d love to see opportunities to boost these volunteer efforts. I am involved in with “Potluck in the Park” feeding needy and homeless in Portland, Oregon.

    • Thanks for telling us about Potluck in the Park. Sounds like something others may want to get involved in. Be sure to sign up on the VIP web site, so you can track your hours toward earning a grant. And if the potluck isn’t already on our site, you can add it so others can learn how to get involved.

  62. This is a wonderful announcement! I volunteer with my church to host a Community Meal every Friday night in Federal Way, Washington. This meal provides a hot meal for many of the homeless in our community, as well as those who may have a home but need the support of a free meal. My church has been hosting this meal every week for five years, faithfully, never cancelling for holidays or illness… mostly out of our own pockets. While my husband and I have served frequently and my husband often drives the bus to pick up our homeless friends, I recently got even more involved. I now cook for the 2nd Friday of each month. This has been quite a learning curve, as I prepare a meal for 60 people! I love the work we are doing and especially the time I have to sit and visit with each person and learn their story. Homelessness is on the rise, and continues to be a complex problem in our society. I am honored to be a part of meeting someone’s physical needs each week… while building a relationship with people that often just need someone to see their humanity and acknowledge them as a fellow human being. Love and compassion goes a long way!

    • Sounds like you’ve learned to cook for an army. Love hearing that you take time to visit with each person to learn about them on a personal level. That’s what our Mission is all about. Love and compassion. Thank you for all you do.

  63. I love volunteering. I have volunteered with my children’s various school since they are little. I am currently volunteering at Schoolyard Farms where they take under used schoolyards and add a mini farm and teach the kids about where their food comes from and have the kids help take care of the farm so they learn about the environment. I am also an active certified Master Recyler. FOr the last ten years, I have done everything from start the Providence Office Park Green team, taught preschoolers about the environment, tabled at Fix it Fairs to talk to low income residents about various topics to help them save money and use their resources better to co-organize the Master Recycler table at the Milwaukie Farmer’s Market each summer. I’m so glad Providence is recognizing it’s employee volunteers.

    • Sounds like you are doing great work for the environment and thanks for starting the POP green team! Keep up the great work. We are enhancing Providence’s commitment to the environment and carbon neutrality, so your work is very much appreciated.

  64. I volunteer with Girl Scouts of the USA. For 13 years I had the pleasure of leading a troop of Girl Scouts from Kindergarten through 12th Grade graduation. As a troop we participated in a number of volunteer activities in our community–everything from helping the environment to serving the elderly and Veterans, and a collaboration project to bring fresh produce to our local food banks.

    It has been incredibly rewarding to watch the girls grow into wonderful young women who are now in their first year of college. Their last project together was earning money to purchase lifetime memberships with Girl Scouts so they will always be able to volunteer and continue to provide service to others.

    I value my experience imensely. I did not realize the hours I spent volunteering would have such a huge impact on my life and what I have learned about myself, my skills, my values, and my abilities–I thought it was all about the girls!

    • Well said. Volunteering affects those of us who volunteer as much, if not more, than those we serve. Thank you for all you do.

  65. I am very pleased to see this site. I want to believe it will be very informative as well as inspirational. Here is one way that I choose to volunteer. I am a Platelet Donor. After donating 18 gallons of whole blood through the years the Red Cross contacted me about being a Platelet donor. I have been donating every other Sunday afternoon for about 7-8 years. One can donate platelets every week if they are healthy and not taking certain medications. Unfortunately, Platelets only last for 5 days whereas whole blood lasts up to 42 days. Platelets are used for a variety of reasons but a few of the most common needs for Platelets are cancer victims, heart surgery patients and pre-mature babies. One unit of Platelets can help up to three patients. The American Red Cross facility, just north of down town Portland, furnishes Platelets to 90 hospitals in the NW. They are open 365 days a year to take donations. The Platelet process takes about 3 hours from the time you enter the building until you leave. The Red Cross provides each patient w/a very comfortable recliner, TV and a very large DVD library to choose from to enjoy during the donation. Ordinarily there are no similar side effects as one might experience giving whole blood. I may have shared more information here than you might expect – but I am a strong advocate for getting the word out to people who have no idea what Platelet donation is all about. And I am happy to encourage people to be regular whole blood donors. Something that those of us on the west coast do not realize – when the weather is bad on the east coast – people can’t get out to donate Platelets or whole blood and that means they call on the west coast for help. Stay healthy, eat well, sleep well and realize you may have a very valuable life-giving asset that is easy to share w/our immediate community of very young to the quite old family, friends and strangers and even to those outside of our community. Thank you.

    • Great reminder. Platelet donation is so important. Thank you for doing this. It would be great if you can get on our new volunteer web site to let folks know about these opportunities if they are not already posted.

  66. I have been a volunteer for Scappoose Fire District since 2002. I began as one who had never been in a fire station, became an EMT and in 2012 was promoted to Lieutenant. I oversee the EMTs and Logistics personnel, go on calls, take care of ordering all the clothing for the department and participate in fund raisers, etc. It is an extremely fulfilling experience.

  67. I am a foster parent for the Oregon humane Society providing care for animals who are not quite ready for adoption due to being too small, injured or part of an animal abuse case. It is hard but rewarding work. I also am active in my children’s schools doing whatever needs to be done. I have done that since they were little and my last is now a senior.

    • The humane society is a great organization, and where would our schools be wihtout parent volunteers? Thanks for the work you do and congratulations on getting your last one through senior year.

  68. For the last several years I have worked for Lifewire, formerly Eastside Domestic Violence. We set up a “shopping store” for parents to come and shop for their kids during the holidays, we provide legal assistance, housing and transportation in urgent situations. I generally work at our transitional housing helping moms become clean and sober in addition to providing child care so parents can attend the services needed for recovery, mentally and physically. Each client has been through a life changing event and being there to support and provide an ear makes all the difference.

    • It is wonderful that you are there for these families during such a critical time. Thank you for all you do.

  69. I volunteer with VOA of Sultan, WA, along with several animal welfare organizations (prior executive board member/poo picker upper), and the Snohomish Conservation District. Last weekend was a food drive and rototilling the senior community gardens to get them ready. This weekend is managing a indigenous plant sale. At Thanksgiving I help cook dinner for 300+ in the Sultan area. Also just joined a new grass roots organization in its infancy to help the homeless in potential housing being built in our area near Sultan/Monroe. And the list goes on..Being the change… 🙂

  70. I have been volunteering for Cascade AIDS Project for over 10 years with my daughter. It was important for me to give back and also to involve my daughter in volunteering starting at a young age. She was 10! We both work the CAP AIDS WALK Portland yearly and have served on the organization committee for it as well.

    My favorite event by far is the CAP Art Auction (coming up in May!) for which I am a team captain of the dinner hosting crew, including my daughter. I also volunteer 2-3 times a month working the front desk check in at the free CAP HIV testing clinics in Washington and Clackamas county.

    I do it because it amazes me how much an impact one person can have simply by donating a time and energy. To see that simple effort on our parts transformed into something so much bigger that helps so many is fantastic.

    • So great you are getting your daughter involved in volunteer work at a young age. Be sure to sign up on the new vounteer Web site. If you need volunteers for the art auction, you can promote it on the site. Thanks for all you do.

  71. I volunteer at the Seatac USO, providing a home away from home for our active and reserve military personnel while they travel. The USO provides free food and drinks, a place to sleep, shower, use the internet and rest. We provide guidance to shuttles, contact with bases, a listening ear, and a quiet room where parents can record messages for their young children. We also provide a hero’s welcome home when then return from service over seas. I also volunteer at other USO functions throughout the year.
    It is a small way to give back to a very deserving military who allows us the freedoms we have each and every day.

    • What a great way to give back to our military. Thanks for all you do. Remember to sign up on our VIP Web site to track your hours to earn toward a grant and promote volunteer opportunities available through USO.

  72. Mercy Ships is building a new hospital ship to serve Africa. They are starting to recruit surgeons, nurses, and others for the ships’s first fieldservice in 2017/2018. Spread the word.

    Providence granted me a 6-month personal leave of abscence to volunteer in West Africa onboard the surgical hospital ship Africa Mercy. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you, Providence.

    • Global health is one of my passions, so it was great to see your note. Remember to visit our VIP Web site to sign up and track your hours toward a grant. Thanks for all you do.

  73. I have volunteered with Camp Fire for over 20 years as a group leader, committee member, and many summers as day camp staff. Each year, Camp Fire gives youth ages 6-12 the chance to experience outdoors where they would never have a chance to do so. Older youth can volunteer as camp staff as Jr. Staff, Leads, and Specialists at seven different locations with multiple weeks at some. What an experience it is for all! Not sure who gains more, the youth or the volunteers!

    • 20 years! Impressive. Thanks for all you do Remember to sign up on our Volunteers in Partnership Web site so you can track your hours and start earning toward a grant for Camp Fire.

  74. I am a very active volunteer with Rescue From The Hart.
    RFTH is an Los Angeles based 501C3 (not for profit) dedicated to helping homeless and abused dogs. We have taken in a lot of very intense medical dogs at their final hours before euthanasia. We cover all of their vet costs, rehabilitate and get them ready for their “happily ever afters”. I firmly believe having a pet enhances the lives of all people. Everyone needs somebody to give them unconditional love.
    Rescue From The Hart has a FB page as well as a web site, feel free to stop by and see some of our success stories.
    THANK YOU so much for starting this program!

  75. At our New Life Church in Hayden Lake, we are putitng togehter Purses with a Purpose. The purses/backpacks are for the homeless and we will be having a day of service on March 5 when we will give out.

  76. For the past 5 years I have served on the Pike Place Market Foundation Board where we raise money to fund critical services for the low-income residents of Seattle, including a medical clinic, pharmacy, senior center, preschool, food bank and housing. While we have experienced a growing demand for critical services, it is exciting to watch the generosity and creativity of our community rise to meet these needs. For those interested, we have our annual fundraising luncheon March 10 in Seattle and would love to have you join us in supporting this great work.

  77. I volunteer every month at the Clackamas County Volunteers in Medicine Founder’s Clinic in Oregon City conducting a diabetes education group session for patients of the clinic who otherwise would not have access to a diabetes educator.

    • Diabetes is one of our top health issues. Thanks for educating the community about it and thanks for sharing with us.

  78. Elected to a neighborhood council in the City of Los Angeles, I serve on the land use & transportation committee. California law allows for public comment on the adverse environmental consequences of proposed major construction. From time to time the little guy can actually have an impact.

  79. I volunteered each week at the Oregon Food Bank office on NW 173rd Ave. It was a great opportunity to help with the planning of the annual Waterfront Blues Festival and secure online donations for the Autumn Harvest Dinner event. I enjoyed the work and feeling appreciated, and I met many nice people.

    My OFB boss was even a reference for me and I believe this reference helped me to get hired here at the PMG Sunset Clinic!

  80. Using donated fabric, I sew items such as purses, tote bags and little stuffed animals to sell at Portland-area holiday bazars.
    100% of the money raised supports students at the Oglala Lakota College’s nursing school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. There are about fifteen students in each class and many are low income single parents, facing many barriers to success. Most graduates stay on the reservation and work at the hospital, clinic or dialysis centers. These efforts have raised over $7,000 in the last three years, offsetting expenses such as their state board of nursing exam fees.

    • Thank you for sharing your gift of sewing with this nursing school … on a reservation, no less. Incredible. What an important way to support nurse training for this community.

    • This is really inspiring. Thank you for doing this.

  81. I have a Dog Therapy named Charm and we visit Providence St. Vincent’s. The patients, visitors, providers, caregivers and volunteers all smile when they see one of our teams come in. I’ve had Providers sit on the floor and see their stress instantly lower. Family members are so excited to see a dog when they are with their sick child, spouse, friend and really miss their own animals. All caregivers seem to love the break to just pet an animal for a few minutes. Patients love the company and to tell you about their own animals, etc. ED patients seem to come down and helps them pass the waiting time. We have many stories to tell and it is always an amazing day when we visit. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share our stories.

    • Sorry for the typo’s….therapy dog not Dog Therapy
      and “calm down” not come down. It’s Monday 🙂

    • We love our therapy pets. They lift our spirits. Thank you for sharing Charm with everyone at St. Vincent.

    • This is great! I have a cat who I’m in training with to do therapy work in Providence, the VA, and local memory care centers. I’m glad to hear that you’re having such a great time with this.

  82. I volunteer at Blanchet House serving meals and have volunteered at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) that helps resettle refugees from all over the world.

  83. For 42 years I have been a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. In this capacity I work patrol as a deputy, just as a full time deputy would, but I don’t get paid. Think of it as a volunteer firefighter type position, but in the law enforcement end of first responders.
    In this position I have the opportunity to serve the public in a multitude of scenarios: Finding the homless person shelter, helping to get a battered spouse the help and safety they need, being the first at a motor vehicle crash and providing first aid.
    This has been part of my life I wouldn’t know how to fill my time without it.
    I have had the opportunity to be the training officer for our non-profit unit and many of the full time deputies with our department started out as reserve deputies.

  84. I volunteer at the SOS homeless Shelter @ Orenco Station. The Shelter at Orenco Station serves homeless men, women and couples without children during the coldest months of the winter. The shelter provides a safe, warm place to stay overnight. During the winter months of December, January and February the shelter remains open for 90 consecutive days,regardless of if it’s extreme weather. During shelter operations they provide showers on designated nights, clothing, hygiene items, employment resources and other resources when available.

  85. I am currently training a therapy cat to work with the Providence Hospice program and VA patients as well.

    I also support the Oregon Humane Society and other rescue organizations!

    • Our therapy pets are some of our most impactful volunteers. Thank you for training one. Glad to hear your supporting the VA and humane society as well. Thanks for all you do.

  86. I volunteer at Hough Elementary in Downtown Vancouver. Every month I create a reading calendar for our DEAR (Drop Everything and Read!) Program, on that calendar the students record how many minutes they read on a daily basis. At the end of the month I calculate all of their minutes and if they reach their grade level goal, I write out a certificate of achievement for them. At the end of the school year, if a student made their year-long goal – set by grade level – they get this fantastic medal, presented to them in an all school assembly. I helped start this program many years ago, when my son was a student at Hough and every year I just keep going back! I may not have time to get into the school during school hours, but there are always other opportunities to help in other ways.
    I also volunteer at fundraising events put on by Hough’s own non-profit organization. I am usually at registration/check-out, which allows me to give my time and skills in a situation that I really can’t afford to give money to.
    Volunteering has been a part of who I am since I was a 12 year old Camp Fire Girl, way back in 1983. It makes me who I am and I always encourage everyone to give the gift of time.

    • Great work. Definitely sounds like volunteering is in your DNA. Thanks for all you do for the Vancouver community.

  87. I volunteer at Streetwise Spokane. Their current mainstay project is running a job’s training cafe for people coming out of poverty. They also prepare and distribute sack lunches each week on Mondays to an average of 70 people as part of Spokane’s alternative Municipal Court.
    The Streetwise motto is “Love Them Until They Ask Why?”

  88. I am a CASA volunteer, I collect food for the Medford Food Project, I am in the Medford Rotary Club, and I am on the executive board for the Providence Associates of Mother Joseph.