A year in review…

Well, it’s about that time again. The time for me to pack up and leave for the summer. It seems as though I just returned from caring for the sweet elephants in Thailand, but it was actually 10 months ago! Tomorrow I will embark on a journey that will take me along the Camino de Santiago for 600 miles before heading to Morocco to enhance the lives of women in Marrakesh.

I would like to highlight my favorite volunteer projects I participated in over the last year. These are also events that happen every year, so you can get involved next year if something strikes a chord with you!

Vancouver Winter Beerfest:Crystal at Winter Brewfest

This event took place at Esther Short Park. I had originally signed up to pour beer, but was flexible and ended up counting and sorting tickets. For volunteering I received a brewfest t-shirt, entrance, a tasting mug, and 10 taster tokens.

I had such a fun time with my new friend Jerry! This was the first time this company, Energy Events, put on a brewfest. It was well organized, and I look forward to volunteering next winter at the same event!

Crystal and her aunt Debby at Santas PosseSanta’s Posse:

Santa’s Posse is an organization that is put on by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Kiewit Construction, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers.

They receive hundreds of donations of toys, clothes, food, and gift cards throughout the year. In December, it is up to volunteers to sort and package all these wonderful gifts to be distributed to families in need throughout Clark County. First we wrapped and labeled all the gift (for what age and gender). Then, they fed us dinner from Burgerville, which was a nice treat. The final stage was gathering the necessary items together for the specific families.

Hollie and son at Santas PosseWhile all this was going on with the gifts; the other half of the room was boxing up the donated food. This was a very popular event, and it was good to be there early to be able to find a seat at a table. Quite a few folks were working on the ground. The system worked great, though.Along with myself, 2h7c recruited 5 others to volunteer; including 2 children who had a blast wrapping gifts for other children!

Abby’s Closet Prom Dress Giveaway:

Abby’s Closet is an organization that aims to inspire confidence and respect in high school women by providing free formal gowns for prom and other memorable events. I first heard of this event through my sorority. It sounded like so much fun, and the event was definitely creating a positive change for the young women who were receiving the gowns.

Along with myself, I recruited one other person to volunteer for the event. We were both stationed in the “salon area”, which is where all the gowns were. We were the ones in the trenches assisting girls find their perfect dress. Other volunteer areas included fitting room, go backs, accessories, shoes, alterations, and check out.

It was such a feeling to see the look on the faces of the different girls after they found “the one”. Such gratitude and excitement. This event was organized and ran smoothly. I can’t wait to help out again next spring!

DSC00035Oregon Coast Clean-Up:

Along with fellow board member Randy, we recruited three others to volunteer at this outdoor event. Twice a year, SOLV puts on a beach clean up along the Oregon Coast. Solv provides the gloves and trashbags… you provide your clean up skills.

I have participated in this event for several years now, and I always enjoy it. We mainly find plastics, styrofoam, and glass beer bottles. Every once in awhile you will find something “cool”, and show it off to the others you are with. This event is rain or shine, so be prepared for rain and wind, and even sun!

DSC01103Earth Day Tree Planting:

My twin’s favorite day was Earth Day, so it was fitting that I volunteer on this day. I enlisted the help of two other people to help plant trees along the Salmon Creek Greenway. This event was put on by Clark Public Utilities and their StreamTeam. They provided gloves, work boots, tools, and plants. A few of the areas already had the holes dug out for the trees! For volunteering your time, you received a t-shirt qnd BBQ lunch. This was hard work, but very satisfying in the end. This event fills up as space is limited, so it is best to sign up as early as you can.

Crystal at Dozer DaysDozer Days:

This was my first time volunteering at Dozer Days, and I don’t know why! Dozer Days is like going to a fair only the rides are real heavy construction equipment.  Kids hop in the driver’s seat and actually drive big yellow dozers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side. This is a large scale event that requires hundreds of volunteers. I was stationed at the articulate loader. I aided people getting on and off the back of the trucks. I had such q great team to work with, the rain didn’t bother me. They need volunteers for many different areas, so there is something for everyone!

Since returning home to the USA after last years trip, I have contributed 231 hours of voluntary service. I am excited to announce that my board of directors have provided 137 hours of volunteer service to the local community! That is a total of 368 hours… way to go, team! I am thrilled about the volunteer opportunities that we are and will continue to share with all of you. It’s not about volunteering every week or every month, it’s about getting out there and making a positive change however you can!crystal planting trees for earth day


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