Volunteers make an impact
October 30, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.--Volunteer opportunities on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., have gone viral, making online access to browse for positions available any time of the day or night.
Last year the Installation Volunteer Corps, all volunteers who support service members, Families and formalize the military's commitment to volunteerism, contributed more than 150,000 volunteer service hours on JBLM.
"It's a very big program that stretches far and wide," said Lori Parker, IVC program manager. "If somebody is looking for something to do volunteering is an option."
Of those, Spc. Jeremy Baker, petroleum supply specialist, 46th Aviation Support Battalion, logged more than 185 hours as a designated driver for the installation.
"I've seen a lot of people get pulled over for a DUI," Baker said. "I believe I kept a person from not crashing and killing someone while being drunk."
Many organizations such as the designated driver program run strictly from volunteers alone.
There are various projects for units, organizations, Families, and individuals to adopt on JBLM such as providing a meal at the Fisher House, dressing up as Santa Clause during the holidays, and landscaping outside the Teen Zone.
Parker began working as the IVC program manager in 1997 and witnessed the program's growth with the Internet.
"By coming online, I believe we have captured a whole new generation of volunteers," Parker said. "The new system has really brought a lot of visibility to the program."
Andrea Terialles and her Family logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours last year. Their contributions to the installation began with supporting the 47th Combat Support Hospital Family Readiness Group while Sgt. Albert Terialles, shower/laundry and clothing repair specialists, was deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2006.
"Our whole Family made an active choice to be involved and support the military community," said Terialles. "We give for the sake of meeting a need."
Volunteers display selfless-service, an Army core value, with their contributions in support of the community and the nation.
"If we had to pay volunteers an hourly salary for all of those hours it would equal to well over a million dollars," Parker said. "You could look at that as money saved, but also that's a service provided at no cost to our service members, Families, civilians and retirees."
Over 3,500 volunteers on JBLM are currently making an impact on the installation.
Award programs are in place to recognize service members and civilians who register with the installation volunteer coordinator's office, submit contribution hours regularly and significantly impact the military community.
Parker also mentioned that recording service hours is an important part in planning for future funding.
A complete volunteer history is available online at the click of a button, whether tracking volunteer activities for college scholarships, military promotion or using the information to put on a resume.
For more information contact the IVC staff at 253-967-2324 or register online at: www.myarmyonesource.com by searching for volunteer tools under the Family programs and service tab.