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Winter Newsletter, 2018
Happy Holidays!
What a whirlwind 2018 has been! Volunteer Connections has had a productive year thanks of course to the dedication and service volunteers have provided to our Clark County community!

January through November of this year has seen 540 volunteers donating 38,685 hours serving in 137 different assignments. The most hours served by a single volunteer so far has been 2,347 hours. 191 new volunteers found a service opportunity through Volunteer Connections in 2018.

Volunteer Connections brought back the Senior Expo this year with plans to continue it in the fall of 2019. The Yarn Engagement Society, a new project, was very successful, and our Pen Pal project is once again matching caring adult Pen Pals with 5th graders for an exchange of letters. We thank you and are so honored to help you find an opportunity to serve. We are looking forward to working with you all in 2019!

PROJECT YES!

YES! the Yarn Engagement Society was created because Program Director, Marcia Hale and then Program Aide, Shannon See received a large donation of yarn, last spring, from a long-time volunteer. We didn’t know what we’d do with it, but knew that at some point we’d figure it out!

One fall morning Marcia was at a Vancouver Chamber of Commerce networking meeting when Bonnie Brasure of Bleu Door Bakery told the crowd about her company’s annual holiday service project. For the last couple of years Bonnie and her team have prepared a hot Christmas meal delivered to those living on the streets. When they drop off the meal boxes, they like to give them a little bag of extra supplies that has included a warm hat, pair of gloves, or a scarf. Bonnie said she had a couple of friends who knit things for her, but last year they gave out 300 meals and her friends had a hard time keeping up with demand for the knitted items. I approached Bonnie and asked if I could try and recruit some knitters. She said sure. So Program Aide Kitty Hibbs and I put the word out.

We had such a great response! Some people brought us extra yarn, and of course most offered to knit or crochet an item. On December 14, Kitty and Marcia delivered over 400 hand-made items for the supply bags! Bonnie and her team were so grateful and we know the recipients will appreciate those special items.

We thank the 24 individuals who shared their time, an estimated 1600+ hours, along with donating the extra yarn. We know people are still interested so check out our Facebook page for photos and our website for details about our next Project YES! adventure!

Pen Pal Project

The Pen Pal Project got a bit of a late start this year due to the teacher strike, but it’s up and running with seven classrooms, 208 5th grade students and 90 adult Pen Pals, exchanging monthly letters until June when they’ll meet for the one and only time at a school party. The Pen Pal program has been matching adults and students for 20 years. If you think this might be a fun opportunity for you to do next year, look for a recruitment announcement in our summer Volunteer Voice newsletter. Until then, check out the video below that Evergreen School District produced for us about Pen Pals. 
Click to watch a video about our Pen Pal Program, produced by Evergreen School District. To view online, click here: http://www.hsc-wa.org/pen-pals

The Senior EXPO will be back!

The Senior Expo is returning in fall of 2019. We will be pulling together a planning committee to help produce next year’s event. We have not decided on a venue yet, but survey results from last year evenly split the desired location between the ilani and going back downtown. If you enjoy event planning, have connections with businesses benefiting seniors and have some time to serve a few hours per month please contact Kitty Hibbs to volunteer to work on Senior Expo 2019.

National Day of Service

The third Monday of January is a federal holiday honoring the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. It is much more than a “day off”. In 1994 Congress designated the holiday as a day of service charging the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading the effort to get citizens engaged in serving their communities on that day, observing it as a “day on” rather than a “day off”. Volunteer Connections has listed several events happening on January 19th and 21st on our website -- click here to view. Many of these projects are ideal for groups and many are family friendly. We’d love to see photos on our Instagram page if you are volunteering on that day. Post your photos to: VolunteerConnections@HSC

Social Media Updates

Thanks to the efforts of our brilliant WSU social media interns, Bronwyn Richard and Emma Lennon, Volunteer Connections is now on Instagram along with Facebook! We encourage you to like and follow us on one or both. It’s the best way to stay up to date with what volunteers are doing and with special projects or opportunities for service.

Our Volunteer Center is getting busy!

You can help us with our mission to place volunteers in the places where they are needed most. Volunteer Connections is looking for a few Office Assistants to help with a variety of basic office tasks and projects that are critical to servicing our stations and volunteers. Depending on your skills and interests you could help by answering the phone, checking voicemail and forwarding calls, greeting individuals coming in the door and directing them to appropriate department, assisting staff with calling volunteers, filing paperwork, data entry or help with mailings. Ability to use a computer is highly desired but not required (Office 360 and/or Google Docs). Flexible hours, but we prefer at least 4 hours per week. Contact Kitty Hibbs for more information.

Welcome New Partners

Volunteer Connections welcomed 13 new partners this year expanding our roster of places where people might serve. Our newest partners include Rock Solid Teen Center in Brush Prairie. They are looking for volunteers who enjoy working with teenagers in their after school program. Rock Solid has a lot of different options for volunteering including very short duration opportunities like doing a talk about what you do or teaching the kids a new craft or skill. nConnect is also back on our roster of opportunities. nConnect helps schools connect their students with the skills and training they need to enter into today’s workforce. There are some on-going opportunities and many short –term opportunities for people who want to help our young folks be prepared to enter the work world.

Clearwater Springs Assisted Living has signed on as volunteer station and is looking for BUNCO players! The facility has an on-going Sunday afternoon bunco game. Anyone who enjoys working with seniors and knows how to play this fun card game could volunteer one or two Sunday afternoons for a few hours to help facilitate the game.  

SHIBA, the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Association is once again a partner with Volunteer Connections. SHIBA volunteers are vital links connecting people to insurance options. If you are looking for something new to do, please contact Kitty Hibbs about these or any of our many opportunities.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday!
-- Marcia & Kitty

We’d appreciate a “LIKE” and a “SHARE” on our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/HSCVolunteerConnectionsIt’s also the way you can stay up-to-date with special events and new volunteer opportunities. We update our Facebook page several times a week.
Copyright © 2018 Volunteer Connections, a program of the Human Services Council, All rights reserved.


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