The Faces of Volunteerism
When Alisha signed her daughter up for soccer, she had no idea that she would end up coaching the team. She had no coaching experience and knew almost nothing about soccer, but she wanted to help, so she stepped up. The Y provided training and lesson plans. Alisha was hooked.
“Through coaching, I really feel like I make a difference,” Alisha says. She's now been coaching for three consecutive seasons.
Teenager Alexej started volunteering to teach an app design class at the Y to get himself out of his comfort zone. He enjoyed the experience so much that he kept adding one class after another. Soon, he was teaching robotics, photography, and filmmaking. Now, he’s considering a career in education.
“I’ve learned a lot about the digital arts through teaching them,” Alexej says. “But I’ve also found that I really love teaching and that I can see myself doing it in the future.”
Walk into the Y on any given day and you’re likely to encounter many volunteers, often without realizing it. They may have scanned you in at the Welcome Center, taught your step class, or coached your child’s soccer team. You can find them wiping down cardio equipment, teaching swim lessons, raising money for the Annual Campaign, serving on an Advisory Council, or playing with toddlers in Child Watch. None of it would be possible without hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
For over a century, the Y has relied on volunteers to carry out our mission. Last year, 700 volunteers in Pierce and Kitsap Counties contributed nearly 60,000 hours of their time to make our community a better place to live. They come from every walk of life – from high school students to retirees – and they enrich the lives of youth and adults by sharing their time, experience, and compassion. This Volunteer Appreciation Month, we thank them for their service.
“The truth is that the Y needs more volunteers,” Alisha adds. “These kids need positive role models who can lead with love and encouragement. It’s so easy to do.”
If you want to make a positive impact on your community, become a volunteer! You don’t need special skills or a lot of time to contribute. Just spending one hour a week coaching youth sports makes a lasting difference in a child’s life. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Y and the next time you see someone volunteering their time at the Y, let them know that you appreciate them!