Please volunteer, but don’t spread yourself too thin

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

By Steve Powell

Throughout my almost 62 years, I have enjoyed volunteer service, but like most people I couldn’t devote much time to it because of raising a family, etc.

I coached my children in sports such as basketball, baseball and soccer. I also played drums and sang on my various churches’ worship teams. I volunteered a few times with United Way Day of Caring. But that was about it.

Things changed when I moved to Marysville five years ago. It started when Steve Good asked me to join the board of Pregnancy Aid of Snohomish County. I met monthly with them for about 3 1/2 years working on various fund-raisers. It’s a great organization. They raise money to buy items for pregnant women and mothers in need. I quit a few months ago, however, after my friend died, and I became active in so many other organizations that something had to give.

I joined the Marysville Kiwanis Club about three years ago because I wanted to start helping in this community where I live. I soon became involved with their Student of the Month program. I enjoy interviewing the great seniors at Marysville high schools and selecting winners. And I love giving out the scholarships at the end of the year at their awards assemblies.

This year I became president of the club and encouraged the group to take on even more fund-raisers to bring in more money for scholarships. We are going to be selling items at the city’s new Fourth of July fireworks celebration at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. And we are planning our first Crabtoberfest Sept. 26 at the Marysville Opera House.

Along with that, we are working with Jim Strickland on forming an Aktion Club to serve people with special needs in the community. Through that relationship, Strickland recently invited me to join the Mayor’s Committee for Creating and Sustaining Opportunities for People with Disabilities. I will chair a new Community Service subcommittee identifying opportunities for people with disabilities to make valuable contributions to the community through volunteer service. This goes hand in hand with the Aktion Club.

As president of Kiwanis, I was asked by director JJ Frank of the YMCA to be a founding member of the Marysville-Tulalip Family of Volunteers, a group organized to try to get families to volunteer to work on community projects together. We are working with local churches and the school district to come up with projects we can work on.

Another group I am involved with is the Marysville-Tulalip Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. As part of that I am the new chairman of the Events Committee and procurement lead. We are putting on the Marysville Brew and Cider Fest April 6 at the Opera House. We also put on the Carnival June 6-9, which this year also will feature a craft show with hopefully many vendors. And in December, we have our annual Holiday dinner and auction. Those fund-raisers bring in money for chamber programs that help businesses in the community be successful.

With all of that going on, I don’t have as much time as I would like to be involved as a member of Maryfest, although I have twice been a judge for the Marysville Strawberry Festival Parade. I also am a new member of the Marysville School Foundation, which like Kiwanis raises money for scholarships. I’m hoping we might be able to work together on some projects.

Related to my profession, I’m a board member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and a convention committee member. Through that, I volunteer to edit intern copy for the WNPA bureau in Olympia.

Finally, I am on the worship team at Marysville United Methodist Church and play there almost weekly.

An advantage in being involved in so many groups is I can see many opportunities for them to partner and work together.

To conclude, I guess the goal of this column is twofold. One, don’t be afraid to get involved. You can always find time for stuff. And it’s very rewarding. Two, be careful about getting too involved. Sometimes I wonder being involved with so much if I’m as effective as I should be.

Steve Powell is the editor of The Marysville Globe-The Arlington Times. His Backseat Coach column runs as needed.

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