A short, online survey has been developed by the city to solicit citizen input on volunteer opportunities available throughout the community.
"Volunteerism is a huge, huge part of what makes Bellevue the first-class community it is," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "This short survey is designed to help us better understand the interests of those who give back to the community -- or who want to -- through volunteer activities."
People can also express their views and ideas on volunteerism, and inquire about volunteering for an activity, by contacting Charlie Bush, Assistant to the City Manager. The Volunteer Opportunities page offers more information about volunteering for Bellevue.
More than 8,000 people volunteer their services to the city each year. That is nearly six times the total number of city employees.
The Parks & Community Services Department is the recipient of a largest number of volunteer hours provided to the city, with over 20,000 hours volunteered at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens alone.
But many other departments also use volunteers. For example, the Police Department has about 45 volunteers providing ongoing services. It received the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) award in 2007 for its outstanding volunteer program. One of the program's volunteers, Bernie Krane, also received an award from President Bush in 2007 for his contributions to the community, including over 3,000 volunteer hours with the Police Department since 1995.
Charlie Bush, Assistant to the City Manager, said a major purpose of the survey is to help the city ensure it is offering the best and most relevant volunteer opportunities possible.
Additionally, the city is seeking to expand volunteer activities community-wide by determining new areas of interest and by seeking out partner organizations in the community.
"We know there are a lot of individuals and community groups out there who want to volunteer their time and expertise to the community in a variety of ways," Bush said. "We want to make sure we're doing our part to facilitate this interest."
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