Volunteers keep local efforts rolling
Volunteering. It's not a term many of us have in our schedules, but local children and wildlife would sure appreciate if it were. The Blaine Boys and Girls Club, as well as Wildlife Rescue, Inc., are two local organizations in need of helping hands.
According to Randy Kirk, director of the Blaine Boys and Girls Club, there are about 25 volunteers helping with 200 children. "We need volunteers mainly after school and at special events. They play games, help with homework, do arts and crafts, stuff like that,"he said.
All volunteers, no matter their age, must complete an application form and background check, before beginning work with the children.
Wildlife Rescue, Inc., an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization that transports injured and orphaned wildlife, is also seeking volunteers. Although the organization is based in Bellingham, helping hands are needed in the Blaine and Birch Bay area.
�We need people to work a 24-hour on-call shift, at least once a month,� volunteer coordinator Alicia Hartley said. Duties include the pickup and transport of injured or orphaned wildlife to rehabilitation centers or airports, taking calls from the public, and assisting with rescue team members.
Wildlife Rescue transports almost all wildlife, except domestic animals/birds or exotic pets, healthy, nuisance-trapped native or introduced species, rabid animals, poisonous snakes, and large animals such as bears, adult deer, and mountain lions. In 2001, volunteers transported more than 600 animals and birds.
�Volunteers don�t have to be specially trained, but we do have an orientation,� Hartley said. �And volunteers must complete an application first.�
Across the county, there are 2,500 on-going volunteers registered with the Whatcom Volunteer Center. The volunteers, who range in age from six to 96, are connected with 250 organizations through the center, including the Blaine Boys and Girls Club and Wildlife Rescue, Inc. According to the Center�s Web site, www.whatcomvolunteer.org, the center �serves as the �Heart and Hands� of the community by channeling the goodwill and talent of volunteers.�
Besides connecting volunteers and organizations, the Center also helps 200 elderly and disabled people remain in their neighborhoods through the Volunteer Chore Program. The program, which costs $450 per person per year, provides cleaning, transportation, yard work, minor repairs and errands.
those seeking more information about volunteering opportunities,
or call 734-3055. The Blaine Boys and Girls Club can be
reached at 332-3008, and Wildlife Rescue at 332-1007.