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Kristen VanRiper-Sayers

Kristen is the Volunteer Coordinator for United Way of Walla Walla County.  Her passion is to link volunteers to oportunities in our community. 

1. How did you become involved in non-profit work?

I started volunteering when I was 19. I have always been very action-oriented, so when I realized that the only person getting in the way of making positive changes around our community was me, I started volunteering. Volunteering is an investment in people and your environment, so, very quickly I began to build community and resources around me and saw with great big eyes, the heroic work our non-profits muster. When I was 21, AmeriCorps recruited me for a team member position. Participating in this community as an AmeriCorps member launched my work with non-profits exponentially and further inspired me to work toward change in my community. Being employed in meaningful work supersedes many other aspirations. 

2. What is the most rewarding part of the work you get to do?

Many times I see children and adults have the “helpers high” or that good feeling after doing a kind deed or lending a hand. That is the most rewarding part of what I do, because I can leave with the thought that maybe they learned something about their community today. If a cold man needs a blanket and I share mine, I expect that of me, because I am kind. However, when someone sees that cold man for the first time and sees me share my blanket, I have inspired others to do the same. 

3. If you could share only one valuable thing you’ve learned doing the work you do, what would that be? 

Time or money is the same. If you give a little bit, you will feel that for a little bit. If you give more, you will feel that more.