In late January, the City of Tualatin honored 43 volunteers who have each contributed over a decade of service to the city. This includes several volunteers with over 25 years of continuous service. The event brought together a distinguished group of volunteers who shared experiences, exchanged stories and got to know each other as neighbors and friends.
According to Volunteer Services’ records, these volunteers contributed a total of 57,000 hours, which correlates to a $1.4 million contribution using the Independent Sector average wage for volunteering or 27 full-time positions within the city.
“This is my hometown. I want to go where I’m needed – and I love it,” said Yvonne Addington, Former Tualatin City Manager and Heritage Center volunteer. Tualatin Volunteer Coordinators Jackie Konen and Margaret Gunther recruit volunteers for a number of purposes throughout the city including planting trees in the community, supporting Library circulation and programs, serving on advisory boards and committees, and assisting staff with major events like Viva Tualatin and Blender Dash.
Volunteer Coordinator Margaret Gunther shared, “This was our first time doing this event. Over the years, we have had many dedicated volunteers. We finally ran the numbers and saw the extent of the commitment.”
When asked why they continue to volunteer, answers differed. “It’s a way to connect with other people in the community that I may not otherwise know,” said Deb Keller, Tualatin Library volunteer. “I volunteer to keep the history alive,” said Christine Tunstall, Heritage Center volunteer. Molly Skeen, Friends of the Library said, “I really care about libraries. I want our community to have the best possible library.”
Those interested in volunteering can view current volunteer opportunities on the city’s website: www.tualatinoregon.gov. “We want to convey our deepest thanks to all of our volunteers,” said Jackie Konen, Volunteer Coordinator.