As its name suggests, working in community service greatly services the community members around you but it can also have other benefits from buffering a job resume to cultivating mental health. Many community service, or non-profit, agencies require volunteers to make their work possible and with the summer months coming up, now is as better time as any.
For those who have never leant their time toward these efforts it may seem a bit daunting to know where to look or how to get involved. For those interested, here is a short list of services throughout the county that are actively seeking volunteers.
Council on Aging
Lend a helping hand to our community’s elders through the Snohomish County Advisory Council on Aging. Old age is a sensitive time for many who require care and comfort to live healthy lives. By assisting the older population through councils like this it ensures they are being taken care of, not taken advantage of, and helps the future look brighter.
The Snohomish County Advisory Council on Aging, mandated by the Older Americans Act of 1965, was established by Snohomish County as the Advisory Council to the County Executive and to the County’s Human Services Department, Aging and Disability Services, Long Term Care and Aging (LTCA).
The purpose of the Council on Aging is to advise, assist, and advocate for older persons and those adults with disabilities in Snohomish County by keeping elected officials up-to-date with the needs of the older population, and guiding the work of the Long Term Care and Aging group.
To apply visit https://snohomishcountywa.gov/OnlineBCBAForm
Washington State University (WSU) Beach Watchers
Summer is coming up and beach season is among us. In order for people to enjoy them properly, the county needs volunteers like the WSU Beach Watchers to preserve and protect our beaches properly.
WSU Beach Watchers are community members who protect Puget Sound waters and wildlife through education, research and restoration. They receive 100 hours of university-level training on Puget Sound natural resources and stewardship skills in a seven week time period. After the training each Beach Watcher volunteers 100 hours over two years. Beach Watchers craft their own personal volunteer experience by selecting from many volunteer opportunities.
To embark on volunteer training visit https://extension.wsu.edu/snohomish/beach-watchers/volunteer-training/Parks
County Parks Volunteer Program
Just as important as the beaches are to our community and the residents that use them, so are our parks. The County Parks Department has a list of various ways you can become a steward of public land from cleaning up litter, to becoming a campground host.
To help preserve the lush Pacific Northwest landscape, or to find a complete list of services visit https://snohomishcountywa.gov/5168/Parks-Recreation.
Sheriff Volunteer Organization
Has it always been your dream to be a real-life crime stopper? Upholding law and order? Well then you might be a great fit for the Snohomish County Sheriff Volunteer Organization by helping the department file data, patrol and prevent crime.
Volunteering your time to pubic safety provides the Sheriff’s Office services they normally otherwise could not provide which includes citizen patrol, clerical or data processing work, crime prevention activities, and helping track those with the tendency to wander such as people with Alzheimer’s, autism, and other conditions.
To fill out a volunteer form and begin your life as a crime stopper visit https://snohomishcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/85008/Volunteer-Interest-Form-PDF.
Guardianship Monitoring Program and Court Appointed Special Advocates
The County courts are also a great way to donate your time to law and you can do this through a couple different ways. The first is through the Guardianship Monitoring Program assisting the Snohomish County Clerk and the Courts with the oversight of guardianship cases and assisting lay guardians with their reporting requirements.
Opportunities exist to volunteer as administrative staff and researchers. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9-12.
Another way to lend your services to the judicial system is becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. Volunteer court appointed special advocates (CASA) are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality by reporting to the court with their recommendations, attending court hearings for the child, and visiting the child on a regular basis.
CASAs are often the one consistent adult in the child’s life, speaking up for them throughout the dependency process and making recommendations as to what is in the child’s best interest.
Volunteering at a food bank can be a rewarding experience. Roughly 9.6 million workers in the U.S. lost their jobs during the first few quarters of the COVID pandemic, according to Pew Research, leaving many scrambling to make ends meet. With inflation rising, it only gives more importance to the work food banks do, making a dent in the roughly 38 million people in the country who are food insecure.
Almost every city in Snohomish County has a food bank looking for volunteers so this one may be the most convenient of all. Help in any way you can to feed a hungry family today by visiting the following.
- Lynnwood Food Bank
- Everett Food Bank
- Mukilteo Food Bank
- Lake Stevens Food Bank
- Mill Creek Community Food Bank
- Marysville Food Bank
- Edmonds Food Bank
- Snohomish Community Food Bank
- Mountlake Terrace Concern for Neighbors Food Bank
Whether you volunteer your services to cleaning our parks, feeding families, representing children, or upholding public safety the people you’ll meet and serve, and the enrichment it brings to your life will be an experience that will last a lifetime.