For the second year in a row, Spokane Mayor David Condon is encouraging Spokanites to give some of their time, effort and passion to a cause important to them.
From volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity store to serving meals at Catholic Charities to signing up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the city is coordinating numerous opportunities for volunteers new and old to give back to the community.
Spokane Gives week, which runs from Saturday to May 3, kicks off with Cleaning from the Core, an event that drew 400 volunteers last year to sweep sidewalks and streets, paint the skate park below Interstate 90 and clean graffiti from Riverfront Park. In all, more than 4,600 pounds of garbage was collected.
This year, the one-day cleanup is planned to be even bigger, with more graffiti cleanup and the planting of 2,000 trees along the banks of the Spokane River in cooperation with the Spokane Riverkeeper.
The city has multiple events planned for the following week, which is hoped to encourage residents to engage in year-round volunteerism.
Overall, city officials rate last year’s inaugural Spokane Gives week as a success. More than 7,000 people volunteered 28,400 hours during the 2014 Gives week. This year, the city hopes to double the amount of volunteer hours.
In coordination with the Spokane County United Way, the city has put all the volunteer opportunities up on one website – VolunteerSpokane.org – where people can either sign up for an event or create a new event in hopes of drawing more volunteers.
Standing on the porch of the Spokane AIDS Network in the Cliff-Cannon neighborhood Monday morning, Condon implored Spokane residents to take part and give back.
“Spokane Gives is all about service to others. There are numerous opportunities to lend a hand,” Condon said, with his wife and son behind him. “These are great family events, and we will be participating with our family. … My family, for the last two years, has polished the brass on the Carrousel. My kids think that’s the only way you get to ride the Carrousel so we’ll probably be out there again this year.”
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