Contributed by guest writer, Rosemary Alpert
Across the country, communities are acknowledging, celebrating, and showing appreciation for volunteers on April 17-23rd, 2022 for National Volunteer Week.
Here is an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation:
“Over the past year, we have seen that the American spirit of service is alive and well. Every day, Americans are giving their love and labor to care for seniors, help communities rebuild after disasters, support veterans and military families, tackle climate change, guide and mentor our youth, serve and strengthen the democratic process, feed the hungry, and keep communities healthy and safe. Tens of millions of Americans collectively volunteer billions of hours of their time each year. This commitment to service represents the best of who we are as Americans. During National Volunteer Week, we recognize the contributions that our Nation’s volunteers make every day and encourage all Americans to discover their path to making a difference.” – President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. April 15, 2022
On Monday, April 11th, Skagit County Commissioners gathered and officially proclaimed the entire month of April to be “Volunteer Appreciation Month,” honoring volunteers from across Skagit County. These incredible volunteers dedicated thousands of hours in service, supporting our community’s well-being during these unprecedented times.
April 21st, 2022 marks two years since Skagit County opened its COVID-19 Testing Site at Skagit Valley College. For over two years, volunteers have stepped up, serving on the frontline at the testing and vaccination site, either at Skagit Valley College or the Skagit County Fairgrounds.
Did you know?
Skagit County has hosted the longest running, low barrier
COVID-19 testing site in the state of Washington
—due in large part to the ongoing support of our dedicated volunteers!
Between March 2020 to the present, approximately 270 volunteers have contributed 15,390 hours of service to the County’s emergency response. Each week, volunteers responded to our call for assistance, filling whatever positions needed to be filled, from traffic directors to vaccinators.
In addition to our COVID response, volunteers also helped to staff the Cold Weather Shelter that was opened in Concrete twice during the past winter. This shelter served the community of Concrete (and the surrounding area), saving lives for thirteen extremely cold nights.
“Beloved Community, which requires lasting personal commitment that cannot weaken when faced with obstacles.”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
People volunteer for many reasons. Each share their life experience, interests, gifts, and most importantly—their time. We’ve heard so many moving stories over the past two years. For example, one of our Medical Reserve Corps volunteer vaccinators shared how touched she was especially when young children were able to be vaccinated. It was a highly emotional time; parents were filled with relief and appreciation, brave children were being cared for by experienced medical volunteers, tending to each person, one arm at a time.
Skagit County has incredible volunteers and there are so many more opportunities to get involved! One of the best resources for volunteer opportunities is through Skagit Volunteer Center (a division of Community Action). For more information, visit their online portal at Skagit Volunteer Center.
This is an exciting time for our community and volunteers as the County Commissioners support the re-building of Skagit County’s Medical Reserve Corps. This will allow Public Health to establishing a team of medical and non-medical volunteers throughout Skagit County in support of the ongoing COVID-19 response, along with new volunteer opportunities for community outreach, wellness, and preparedness. For more information on Skagit County Medical Reserve Corps, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the beautiful tulips are blooming across Skagit County, let us celebrate the month of April and recognize the courage and flexibility of our volunteers, as well as their many hours of dedicated volunteer service that has helped to keep our beloved community healthy, safe, and moving forward!
Thank you, volunteers!
For more information about MRC: MRC | Home (hhs.gov).