MAY 12, 1997

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Opinion

Volunteering adds personal touch to philanthropy

volunteering This past year, I have had several opportunities to volunteer in the area. In the fall, I worked at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville and the King County Library used book sale. Recently, I worked at a local school library book fair, and am presently donating four hours a week to Evergreen Hospital's Volunteer Program. I have also read several books and pamphlets about volunteering in conjunction with a year-long ninth-grade project at Skyview Junior High.
   Through this whole experience, I have come to realize how essential it is for people to become involved in any way they can. Non-profit organizations need not only monetary donations, but also help from the people in the community they serve. Volunteering adds a personal touch to philanthropy; it shows more care than simply signing a check and licking a stamp.
   For young people (like me!), volunteering can be very helpful when applying for a college or a job. Many colleges and companies consider the applicant's involvement in the community and will consider someone who has volunteered with higher regard than someone who has not. The organization for which you volunteered is also a great reference for your resume. There are also many valuable job skills to be learned as a volunteer that may be used some day at work.
   And for everyone: It's fun! As a volunteer at any location, you will make new friends, feel good about what you're doing, and find a great way to give back to the community.
   So go ahead! Push yourself to get past your initial uncertainty and make the call, write the letter, or pay the visit. You'll be glad you did.

Brittany Dixon, Bothell