By Rossie Cruz, January 2017 Volunteer of the Month, Crofton Springs Resident
I don’t think people realize how much they really volunteer.
When I asked Siri the definition of volunteer she said: “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.”
There you have it. We all volunteer in one form or another. Whether we were aware of it or not. It might be as simple as helping someone unload their car or helping to collect toys during the holidays for less fortunate children.
My parents first got me to volunteer when my siblings and I were young. Of course, we didn’t really know that we were volunteering; we just went to “help out.” That “helping out” turned into a bit of a habit, one that I truly enjoy. One time I was helping a neighbor remove some junk from their yard so that my friend could play sooner. The point here is volunteering sometimes works in your favor. I even have friends that have met at a volunteer event and now have a lasting relationship.
My volunteerism really kicked in when I first moved here from San Diego. It started out helping out on the Children’s Miracle Network telethon and fed thanksgiving dinner to families. Then I started getting more involved feeding the homeless at Union Mission Gospel in Seattle, passing out blankets in the winter, serving food for runaway teens. Then more volunteering at First and Goal (they reward at risk children for setting and completing school goals), a basketball camps, Toys for Tots, Seafair Pirates Holiday Treasure Chest, sorting clothes at Treehouse, even adopt -a-highway. These were all so rewarding and you met different giving people.
Next thing you know, I became one of the founding members for Costco’s Volunteer Board. This opened up even more opportunities to volunteer and meet some great giving people.
The point I’m trying to get across is we volunteer more than we realize and it can start a young age or a later age. Let’s encourage everyone to volunteer and just “help out” once in a while.
Rossie Cruz serves as the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) Vice President, representing District 3. Rossie has lived in Crofton Springs for 12 years. She also serves on the Crofton Springs Neighborhood Committee, where she helps to manage the budget, landscaping and other neighborhood matters.