Volunteer of the Month August 2014: Michelle Champley

By August 12, 2014Front Page

When I moved to the Issaquah Highlands in 2006, I fell in love with the neighborhood. At first, I felt overwhelmed in this live/ work community, as it was hard to make connections. During my transition period, I joined Facebook solely to stay in touch with family, friends and old co-workers.VOM Champley August 2014 Portrait

Eight years later, I have settled into this community and started a small business (HighlandsDogWalking.com). Operating a service-related company has allowed me to meet and interact with many residents in the Issaquah Highlands. Yet one day I felt a need to do more. When I searched for the answer I realized I wanted to give back to the same community in which I live and work. I first used social media as a tool to listen to fellow residents on neighborhood forums, which soon led to actively participating and volunteering in Issaquah Highlands interest groups on Facebook.

As a volunteer, I wanted to explore many different opportunities, not just as a mother, or a small business owner, but for my own self-being. Through Facebook, I have been an active participant in groups like the neighborhood community pages and IH Pet Club (to educate children and adults of the animals found in our area). I attend the Knitting Group, so my daughter can continue learning her hobby with peers and adults. I am also a member of the IH Free Exchange where items are given, instead of sold; and with the administrators’ blessing, I volunteer as the lead for the group’s book lending library.
I happily accepted the invitation to volunteer in this year’s Bark for Life of Issaquah (IssaquahBark.org) to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Cancer has touched some of my family members, friends and even pets that I have worked with this past year. I feel satisfied I can lend a helping hand to local events in and around my neighborhood.

Finally, I began a new interest group called Issaquah Workout Warriors for female residents who are striving to live a healthier lifestyle through exercise. This group is great for new residents to meet and build lasting friendships within the community. This group has blossomed from just a few members meeting on weekends to over 50 members, some meeting daily.

By giving back to the Issaquah Highlands as a volunteer, it has made me feel more fulfilled. Facebook in particular has been a great tool in finding and participating in so many of these community groups. So the next time you see me wearing one of my Facebook t-shirts (no, I don’t work there), give me a wave, or stop and say hello. I’d love to meet you!