Latest from The Spokesman-Review
TRAILS – Volunteers are needed for the annual Palisades Park Cleanup starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Meet at the intersection of Greenwood, Rimrock and Basalt roads.
A tailgate party lunch for volunteers is set for noon.
The city park, which is near Indian Canyon, features Rimrock Drive, now a non-motorized route overlooking Spokane, plus hiking trails in a natural conservation area.
Idaho ranks 2ndin the nation for its volunteer rates, according to a new study from the Corporation for National and Community Service, behind only Utah, which ranked 1stamong the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our neighboring states mostly ranked relatively high as well, with Washington 9thin the nation, Oregon 8th, Montana 18thand Wyoming 17th. An exception: Nevada ranked 48th. Lowest-ranking was Louisiana, at 51st, with just 19.4 percent of its residents volunteering their time to help out their communities. Idaho’s figure was 38.8 percent; Utah’s was 40.9 percent.
Nationally, the study found, 26.8 percent of Americans volunteered in 2011, and 65.1 percent did favors for their neighbors. Click below for a report from AP and the Idaho Falls Post Register on volunteerism in Idaho.
Five days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Ted Siekerman, 82, can be found at the Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center. From his post at the ambassador desk in the lobby, the Medical Lake resident welcomes visitors, helping them find their way around the sprawling campus. He greets returning patients and guests like old friends. He’s been on the job for 29 years – but job is not an accurate description. Siekerman is a volunteer. In July, he received the Volunteer Award from the American Legion at the Washington Department Convention in Wenatchee. Although Siekerman is just one of 400 volunteers at the VA, his statistics are impressive. He’s racked up more than 40,000 hours of service/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Question: Do you volunteer anywhere?
The brand new computer lab at The Emmanuel Life Center isn’t lacking in technology - but it’s lacking a few warm bodies.
“We are kind of in a limbo right now where we can’t offer that many programs because we don’t have any volunteers, and we have a hard time finding volunteers because we don’t offer any programs,” said Krystie Ketterling, neighborhood networks coordinator for Kiemle and Hagood, and one of the people who is trying to get the computer lab off the ground.
There are 12 computers at the Learning Center and the kids in the area use the center for home work prep and internet access.
“We are struggling to get the adults in here,” said Ketterling. “We are trying to help people move on in their lives and reach some of their goals.”
Volunteers are needed on weekdays from 3-5 p.m. and have to know a little bit about computers and pass a background check. The Emmanuel Life Center is located at 631 S. Richard Allen Court.
Call Charles Williams at 509-981-6477
At Idaho Facts, blogger Boise Diva points out: “This is National Volunteer Week, and according to NationalService.gov, Idahoans volunteer almost 54 hours per person, per year. That ranks the state third nationwide in terms of most time served. Almost 375,000 of us volunteer each year.” What types of things do you volunteer for?
Volunteering as a family provides quality time for busy families, strengthens communication and promotes cooperation, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service.
For many families, the experience also increases problem-solving skills while enabling parents and older siblings to be role models to the younger ones. It can be as simple as visiting seniors at a nursing home or picking up litter along the Centennial Trail. Or, it could be a regular family activity such as the birthday parties that the Collins Whitehead family of Spokane Valley organizes every month for the mothers and children at St. Margaret’s Shelter.
By working side-by-side, families who give back to the community learn about social issues and spend quality time together, according to experts. As a result, children learn values from their parents that include empathy, tolerance, respect and civic engagement.
Is your family involved in community service? How did you pick your project? What prompted you to volunteer together as a family?
Also, how old were your children when they started taking part in volunteer work?