Serving Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish Counties


Volunteering: Giving and Receiving

Posted on December 6th, 2019

On the evening of November 7th 2019, Kaaren Flint was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence ceremony at the Skagit Casino. The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes one outstanding volunteer for their valuable and selfless commitment and dedication to the community.

I am a Skagit Valley native, born and raised in Mount Vernon. Since I was a kid I’ve always had a strong bond to my community. I began volunteering early in my life and have always been drawn to help the elderly and vulnerable populations who live among us.

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When I was 13, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. As you can imagine, this had a huge impact on my life. Everything I had known up until that point was going to change drastically. Fortunately, my family received support from Hospice of the Northwest as we journeyed through this difficult time. There are many ways a person’s life can alter after the loss of a parent. Fortunately for me, I received tremendous support through grief counseling; and my life ultimately was changed for the better.

Five years ago I shifted my career goals to focus solely on working with seniors. This opened a platform for me to volunteer and support the elderly in our community. Shortly thereafter I began serving as a chair member on the committee for the North Sound Walk to end Alzheimer’s Disease. Through this work I’ve found a powerful motivator to help people who struggle with any form of dementia. The more I see the ways dementia devastates families, the more committed I am to dedicating my time to help find a cure.

I also volunteer at Senior Day in the Park, an annual event at Maiben Park in Burlington. Designed to showcase the resources the valley has to offer our seniors, this event brings over 500 seniors and community businesses together in one day. Chamber of Commerce events, Berry Dairy Days, and Hub City Church activities are other venues where I dedicate my time.

My volunteering now is part of how I support others who might be in a position like I was as a teen. I know how much it helped our family having volunteers available when my dad was ill, and I want to be that resource for others when they are in need. In addition, working for Hospice of the Northwest is truly a full circle of experience. Being able to relate to patients and their loved ones and fully understand the changes they are going through is unique for someone my age. I can help share the wonderful benefits that hospice provides to families, and I get to give back in the same way that volunteers helped me when I was a kid. I fully believe that the community we thrive in today was built on the foundation of the elders in our community. As such, they deserve our time, our respect and our compassion.

About Hospice of the Northwest

We are a skilled, caring, and compassionate team of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, aides, volunteers and generous community donors. Together we provide patient-centered care for people facing serious illness. We’ve been serving the residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties since 1989 and want to know how we can support you or your loved one.

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