Every day Greentrike volunteers dedicate their time, talents, and energy to help us provide high-quality, enriching programming for children and youth in Pierce County. Our volunteers help us honor children and youth, champion play, and make an impact in our community, and we want to say THANK YOU!
Check out the volunteer spotlight stories below to hear from some of our amazing volunteers.
Remote Volunteerism Offers Safe, Rewarding Opportunities to Give Back
Claudia Alvarado and her daughter, Kaitlyn, volunteered remotely in January to assemble Greentrike Cares Kits. Claudia is an employee of State Farm, one of several banks in the area that pays employees for time spent volunteering, and says that family and soccer are her biggest passions. She has volunteered remotely with Greentrike several times, both to assemble kits and to complete data entry projects. Claudia recently encouraged her daughter to join, and the two of them spent six hours together assembling two boxes of kits.
“We enjoy volunteering virtually for Greentrike because we know the work we are putting in will bring joy to the recipients of the kits. The staff at Greentrike are so kind and make it all so easy for us to help, and it makes it all the more fulfilling.”
Continuity Builds Connection
Emily Kagey started volunteering with a variety of Greentrike programs over a decade ago, and although COVID-19 has disrupted and changed her experience with the children, she continues to volunteer because of the joy it brings her.
“I had no idea before I started volunteering at the Children’s Museum how much it would mean to me. Helping the kids grow and learn is very rewarding.”
Over the years Emily has become a regular part of Wee Ones Weekly and Preschool Powered by Play. Three days out of the week Emily assists Preschool instructors with set-up, activity implementation, and clean-up, and her continuous presence helps build community in the classroom. She considers this her most rewarding volunteer experience.
Volunteering at Greentrike has also added a richness to Emily’s sense of community in Tacoma. Her church and school connections are deepened by her love to give back to her community, both through Greentrike volunteerism and involvement in other community projects.
“A couple of years ago I was at the Festival of Trees with my family and a preschooler ran up to me and gave me a hug. When his parents came over, my twin sister recognized the preschooler’s dad as one of her coworkers. It is fun to discover the different connections in Tacoma.”
When volunteerism was forced to pivot due to COVID-19, Emily took it in stride and began to assemble Greentrike Cares Kits remotely. While this opportunity has provided her an alternative opportunity during uncertain times, she hopes she will be able to continue volunteering with Preschool Powered by Play and Wee Ones Weekly.
Youth Volunteers Lead the Charge
Yvonne Solmiren works at Silas High School as a math teacher and the advisor of Key Club, a student-led volunteering organization. She has coordinated with Greentrike for the last several years to provide volunteer opportunities for Key Club students, and each year they look forward to helping out at Gingerbread Jamboree and the Foster Care Holiday Party. It wasn’t until COVID hit that Yvonne got involved with the Greentrike Cares program.
“It sounded like a fantastic program and a great way to get involved and give back to the community and the youth during such a difficult time, so I signed-up to make kits and my roommate, Briana, and I were hooked. I am so impressed with the thoughtfulness that goes into creating the different kits as well as all the materials that are provided.”
Yvonne’s passion to help her community extends to her Key Club students, who made reindeers out of candy canes for the Cares Kits Yvonne assembled last Christmas. She strives to get herself and her students even more involved with Greentrike because she enjoys giving back and has memories of bringing her niece to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma years ago.
“It has been a very long time since I took my niece, now 23, to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, but I remember how much she enjoyed going. The ability to play, interact and learn is perfect and so important for developing young minds.”