April is National Volunteer Month

Volunteering is a rewarding way to take action by giving your time and service back to the community!  Community Action believes in providing volunteer service to those in need, unleashing the power of neighbor helping neighbor, and working together with a more common vision of the path to prosperity. There are many opportunities for you to share your skills and talents such as transporting seniors, helping people with their taxes, doing minor home repairs, and tutoring students. If you have talent or knowledge in a particular area that could help, we can connect you with a volunteer opportunity that is a perfect fit. In 2012, volunteers contributed 1,601,887 hours to the Washington Community Action Network. When we all come together to make a difference for others, our whole community benefits!

 

Ashley’s Story: From Client to Volunteer and Advocate

When Ashley Susan Paul came to Community Action of Skagit County in April 2013, she had lost everything due to a fire, including all her identification. She was homeless, out of money, out of food and freezing. She said she found friendly, helpful people who cared about her as a person.

James Whisenhunt, housing program manager, said Ashley seemed lost at the time he met her, like she didn’t know where to go. She had come in for housing assistance but with no identification, James had to help her get that first. While the documents were pending, Ashley found housing through her church.

“Ashley is a true success story. She had a lot of barriers and she did a lot of the work. Community Action doesn’t have all the answers but we can offer guidance and support,” James said.

Ashley is part of the Circles Initiative where she said she is learning to become self-reliant. She got her Food Handlers card so she could volunteer with Meals on Wheels as well as with Christ the King Church for their Tuesday night dinner. She has helped with multiple events through Community Action, like Project Homeless Connect and the Point in Time Count.

Recently, Ashley had the opportunity to tell her story to Representative Dave Hayes and several others in Olympia. She said Community Action of Skagit County was the reason she was standing before them. She explained to them that people aren’t always homeless because of choices. It can be due to loss of job, spouse or home or unexpected medical expenses. “For the majority, their lives are suddenly spinning out of control. They feel like there is no hope and that they can’t get back into control of their lives,” Ashley said. “They not only helped me when I was homeless, they are helping me help myself and others.”

·       Ashley Susan Paul, Community Action of Skagit County Client

 

Volunteer Opportunities

No matter what your skills or talents are, Community Action can help you use them to better your community.  The Community Action network provides a number of volunteer opportunities through your local agency and across Washington State such as:

·       Food Bank

·       Community Outreach

·       Fundraising Events

·       Community Resources

·       Advocacy

·       Volunteer Transportation

·       Pro Bono Services

·       Home Repairs

·       New Housing Construction

·       Administrative Support

·       Photography

·       Tutoring