National Volunteer Week Is April 18–24; Here's How To Help Locally


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National Volunteer Week is coming next week, from April 18-24, and is intended to celebrate the “spirit of service to others” in communities across the nation, including right here in Burien.

This year’s theme of “Celebrating People in Action” certainly describes Burien’s numerous caring volunteers, including those at St. Vincent de Paul at St. Bernadette, as well as those at St. Francis of Assisi Parishes. According to Richard Bray, Director of Donor & Community Relations of St. Vincent de Paul, these two groups helped 5,970 mostly local area needy to prevent eviction, hunger, utility shut-off and more through home visits and other contacts in 2009.

We know there are other hard-working volunteers in the area, including at various religious and service organizations, food banks, clubs and others, and we tip our collective hats to all of you!

During tough economic times, we think it’s more important than ever for each of us to try and make a difference, so we encourage all our Readers to find some way to help someone next week, even if it’s just in a small way like the newly-popular “paying it forward” fad of buying the person’s drink behind you at the local coffeeshop.

Wondering how YOU can make a difference right here in Burien? Here are some ideas (if you have any others, please email us and we’ll add ’em):

  • Volunteer at a local food bank – click a link below for more info:
  • Participate in Burien’s annual “Clean Sweep” on Saturday, April 24 (details here).
  • Volunteer at Burien’s Hospitality House.
  • Volunteer at the Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center, which says on its website: “All you have to do is contact us and we’ll help you find a project that suits your style and schedule. There are many volunteer opportunities either at the main campus on Lake Burien, at special events, or at various community-based sites such as after-school programs, or recreation and educational activities with youth groups. Some projects can even be done from your home or office.Email Rachelle Nesta or call (206) 242-1698 x 131 to talk about how you can help.”
  • Join or Volunteer to help the Highline Historical Society (click here to email them directly), of which we’re proud to be members.
  • Volunteer to help local non-profit Burien Little Theatre, which is all volunteer; according to Artistic Director Eric Dickman, “We ALWAYS need people to help build and paint sets, sell concessions and tickets, to help move the set in before the show and out after the show. BLT is in need of office staff, ushers, and people to pass out flyers at city events. BLT needs writers and publicity people, graphic artists and people to update the website and facebook page.  BLT needs a CPA and a book keeper, a lawyer with background in non-profits would be good too. There are a few openings on BLT’s Board of Trustees.  If a person has a skill undoubtedly BLT has a use for it. Anyone wishing to help BLT can reach us at [email protected] or [email protected]; or call 206-242-5180 or by snail mail at P.O. Box 48121, Burien WA. 98148.
  • Mentor a student at Des Moines’ Aviation High School (details here, or call Nancy Pappas at (206) 716-0006 ext. 1067).
  • Volunteer at your church.
  • Do at least one act of random kindness per day all week (we’ll leave that up to your imagination).
  • Mow the lawn of an elderly neighbor.

To help inspire you, here’s a touching video tribute to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who helped pass the “Serve America Act” on April 21, 2009:

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One Response to “National Volunteer Week Is April 18–24; Here's How To Help Locally”
  1. Eric says:

    Hey, don’t forget Burien Little Theatre. BLT is all volunteer. There is no paid staff, no paid anyone. Nevertheless, thanks to countless volunteers BLT produces very high quality live theater. As part of the suburban fringe movement BLT is helping revitalize live theater on a national level.

    Four times a year BLT creates and entire world, tells a story from that world, and then tears it down only to start again, all on a absolute fixed deadline. To do this BLT needs designers, builders, painters, go-fers, stagehands, light and sound board operators, ushers, and people with a strong back to carry and hold. Then there is whole business side which requires a lawyer, CPA, bookkeeper, PR people, writers, people to pass out postcards, flyers, and posters. Not to mention people to manage the mailing list and the reservation list. Then there are those who do the budgets and ask for grants and do the other fund raising.

    There are many more jobs, but you get the idea. At BLT all of these positions are filled by volunteers, no one gt paid. Without volunteers there would be no BLT.

    If you would like to volunteer BLT can be reached at [email protected]. Or stop by a performance of “Bleacher Bums,” running now through May 9th at the “old” community center and let us know!

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