Born, brought up and educated in India in a middle-class family, ‘volunteer’ was not a word that was in my lexicon. After having lived in America for almost 30 years – more than half my life time, the ‘volunteer’ spirit now seems to be well ingrained in me and my family.
“It” started out as a small ask from a professor during my Master’s Program at a University in Rapid City, South Dakota, when he asked me if I could teach/help undergraduate students in a lab. At this time, I didn’t realize what I was doing was volunteering.
Throughout my lifetime, I have seen both ends of the world and have a better understanding of needs versus wants. Having realized and cherished the needs here in America and having a lot of ‘wants,’ I was looking for opportunities to give to the ‘needs’ of the underprivileged. With what little I had regarding time and money, I started to give small and volunteer everywhere – at work, schools, homeless shelters, science clubs, and elsewhere. I have painted an orphanage kids house, cooked, cleaned and tended the gardens of handicapped people’s houses, packed cooking supplies for those in need, built hiking trails and many others.
As my wife and I got used to volunteering, we have tried to teach the same to our kids. Our daughter, a senior at Issaquah High School, has volunteered at the Salmon Days festival, Girl Scouts events, Grand Ridge Elementary, and has helped Alzheimer’s patients play Bingo at Providence Marionwood. She currently volunteers at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle by helping cardiac patients in their recovery effort. My younger son has volunteered at the Highlands Day, Salmon Days, Issaquah Community Center and currently volunteers at Issaquah Youth Board.
After volunteering all these years and living here in the Highlands for about 15 years, I was looking for opportunities to give back to the community where I live and where my kids are growing up and came across the opportunity to serve on the IHCA board of directors. Earlier this year I was appointed as a fill in for a Board member who moved out of the Highlands and in July of this year I was elected to serve District 4 as a member of the Issaquah Highlands Board and to serve on the Finance Committee. It has been an enlightening experience to learn and serve my neighborhood and the community that I live in.
My term expires in 2020 but going forward I will look for more opportunities to learn and to give by volunteering here in the Highlands and elsewhere. I would like to thank my family, friends and all who have supported me in this fascinating journey.
Photo: Volunteer of the month for October is Shiva Bosedevarahatti, pictured here at a local festival with (from left to right) his son Tarun, daughter Megana, Shiva, and on the right, his wife Sulekha.