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IN OUR OPINION | You can make a difference as a volunteer
Kitsap County Volunteer Program volunteers annually contribute more than 230,000 hours of service to our communities. The value of the service provided by more than 5,000 individuals is close to $5 million, according to Rebecca Pirtle, coordinator of the Kitsap County Volunteer Program.
Volunteers help maintain parks and roads, advocate for children in our court system, work out diversion agreements with juvenile offenders and their parents, help the sheriff’s department patrol our streets, investigate and resolve concerns of long-term care residents, mentor at-risk youth, and help residents understand their rights and options regarding health insurance and access.
Right now, there are opportunities to serve on the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council, Bremerton Ferry Advisory Committee, Central Kitsap Community Council, Commission of Children and Youth, Council for Human Rights, Juvenile Department Citizens Advisory Board, Juvenile Department Community Diversion Board, Kingston Citizens Advisory Council, Kingston Ferry Advisory Committee, Manchester Citizen Advisory Committee, Noxious Weed Control Board (Central Kitsap representative), Substance Abuse Advisory Board, Suquamish Citizen Advisory Council, and the Veterans Advisory Board.
The county needs a Kitsap County Fair and Stampede home arts superintendent. The following programs could use your help: Adopt A Park, Adopt A Road, Beach Watchers, Disaster Emergency Response, Sheriff Community Resource Office (Kitsap Mall), Citizens On Patrol, Juvenile Department Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, Master Gardeners, Mentor Volunteers, Shore Stewards, Stream Stewards, and State Health Insurance Benefits Advisors. Volunteers also perform clerical functions in various departments -- a good way to get to know your county government and the people that ensure public services get delivered.
The quality of life in a community is a reflection of the involvement of its residents. If you’d like to make a difference in the life of your community and in the lives of others, consider serving on an appointed board or other volunteer service. Contact Pirtle at 360-337-4650 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/current.htm.