Edward Herrera, a longtime volunteer in Thurston County, started his volunteer service in 1997 when he answered an ad in The Olympian.
His first volunteer commitment was at Black Hills High School, where he helped coach the football team, and then at the Tumwater Youth Program, where he still works on special activity nights.
The driving force behind Herrera’s dedication is helping kids. He feels a special connection to them.
“They need someone to talk to, and to listen to them,” he says. “I’m happy to be that person.”
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Herrera’s latest endeavor is being a TOGETHER! Homework Club volunteer at Pleasant Glade Elementary in the North Thurston Public Schools. The positive effect he’s had while volunteering with this after-school program has inspired him to explore other opportunities: He recently became a Lunch Buddy at the school.
Herrera sees the impact his presence has on the kids he works with. “Kids remember that you care. Just being there means something,” he says.
He wants to encourage others to volunteer to be there for kids like he is.
“Volunteering is rewarding,” Herrera says. “You remember the kids and how wonderful life is because you’re really, really making a difference.”
If you would like to learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer in South Sound, call Jennifer Thompson, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator at United Way, at 360-943-2773, ext. 21 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.