Peer to Peer volunteer fair

1024px-A_group_of_women_volunteers_helping_to_replant_marsh_grass_on_the_refugePeer-to-Peer hosted the biannual volunteer fair last week on Wed., May 21 in the cafeteria. The event offered students a chance to learn about and connect with opportunities to volunteer. Local organizations such as King County Public Health and the Green Redmond Partnership were in attendance, situated with information to recruit volunteers for a variety of work.
The Public Health Reserve Corps was present, and Aaron Surprenant, the Reserve Corps coordinator, explained King County’s emergency health services.  “We respond to emergencies when other responders are overwhelmed, [and we] utilize our volunteers wherever we can. For example, [regarding the Oso mudslide], we sent our medical examiner up to Snohomish to help out. We used our volunteers to fill in down here while they were gone.” The corps also provides free healthcare to the homeless.
Consisting of over 700 volunteers, both licensed medical professionals and non-medical volunteers, the corps operates field hospitals and emergency shelters, administers vaccines and provides general checkups. Surprenant is reaching out to the nursing and medical departments of universities and colleges in the area, but even those who are not studying or licensed in medicine may volunteer for the corps, to work in roles such as interpreters and logistics workers. The Reserve is looking for “any adult who wants to help.”
Among other groups present was Jubilee Reach, a youth outreach program located on the corner of 145th Place and SE 13th Place. With the mantra “Love, Listen, Learn, Engage,” Jubilee Reach operates before and after-school programs for children with a specific focus on ages 12 to 14. They have also organized such projects as providing free dental care and eye exams, providing important assets to those in need. Michael Gortzig, volunteer manager for Jubilee, said: “We’re a needs-based nonprofit. We want to serve the Lake Hills community for marginalized families and at-risk youth. BC students have been helping us accomplish that in a number of capacities, whether that be administrative work, working with kids or [working at] our thrift store helping serve the greater community.It’s the only furniture bank on the east side.”
Green Redmond was also recruiting volunteers at the fair last week. They are a partnership between the city of Redmond and Forterra, a land conservation and community-building nonprofit out of Seattle. According to Mariska Kecskes, the representative in attendance, students who join Green Redmond can simply volunteer for a three-hour event in which they would participate in activities such as removing invasive species and planting native trees.They can become “forest stewards, and have their own area to take care of and recruit their own volunteers and lead work parties.” Kecskes concluded by saying, “We like to do our best to help people achieve any ideas they have.”
The next volunteer fair will be in fall quarter, but anyone seeking volunteer opportunities may apply online for any of the above-mentioned work. Peer-to-Peer will also be hosting the Spud Olympics on May 29, a social “volunteer appreciation event.” Attendees will play games and visit with one another. It is an opportunity to meet new people and to become involved on campus through Peer-to-Peer.