Volunteer in your community and bring a friend | Column

Volunteering is fun done individually, even better when you bring a friend. I’ve had the chance to introduce many of my acquaintances to numerous volunteer efforts I’m involved in – it’s fun to work side by side in an effort that improves the life of people – and provides so much self-fulfillment. It is often surprising to discover a cause you both believe in.

Bringing a friend is a great example of leverage as well. Part of your legacy could be the number of people you introduce to volunteer opportunities – that stay even after you have moved on to additional opportunities. We can do this! We can build a culture of volunteerism – in our families, in our friends, in our communities. Just bring one friend each time.

Most close associates just have to be asked. Many, quietly, have looked for some time to find something, outside of work or the home, that they might become involved in. Something that would give the prospective volunteer asense of giving back, of providing, of using their skills and time for a needed purpose.

Comments I’ve received from those I’ve involved in volunteering include:

• “I’ve never had so much fun in my life.”

• “If I would have known what satisfaction I would feel from just helping, I would have started sooner.”

• “I can’t wait, each week or month, for the next time I get to see the kids and contribute to their growth.”

• “After just a few shifts, I brought my neighbors to the FoodBank for a neighborhood function. It was hard work but we knew we were making a difference. We will do it again.”

Consider the following opportunities for volunteering:

www.rei.com (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)

Get outdoors! REI is passionate about protecting the outdoors. Every year, tens of thousands of volunteers are mobilized to build trails, clean up beaches, restore habitat and much more. REI also has a volunteer match program, designed to match connect volunteers with more than 50,000 nonprofit organizations across the country.

info@bbbsps.org (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound)

BBBSPS matches one volunteer adult Big Brother or Big Sister with a child who could benefit from a one-to-one relationship with a caring adult. Some matches get together to enjoy activities on their own throughout the Puget Sound, and others meet at specific schools or for fun filled agency-planned activities. Independent research has shown that a Little Brother or Little Sister who is matched for one year or more is more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and to show more respect to adults.

Remember – send in suggested volunteer opportunities to the Bothell Reporter, attn: Bill LaMarche

Bill LaMarche is retired, and active community, national and international volunteer. Bill can be reached through the Bothell Reporter.


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