Volunteers Crucial To Local Services - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Volunteers Crucial To Local Services

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YAKIMA--What's working in Yakima to provide needed services that we can not afford to pay for?

Police stations, hospitals, fire departments, even nonprofits like the Salvation Army wouldn't be same without volunteers who work for satisfaction of helping others.

You can find volunteers in just about every field.   The Union Gap Fire Department is about two-thirds volunteers.  They treat it like a full-time job, priding themselves on being one of the best volunteer departments in Yakima County.

"We really enjoy the work that we do," volunteer firefighter Barry Kerth said.  "It's a chance for us to go out and do something extraordinary outside of our normal jobs."

Kerth works as a fire marshall for Kittitas County, but he still finds time to volunteer several days a week.

"[Volunteering] benefits the area where I work but it [also] benefits me," he said.  "It gets me out doing work in the community."

Trying to help her neighbors is what brought Rosalie Horton out of retirement and into the Salvation Army.

"I stayed home one year and I couldn't stand it!" Horton said.  "I started looking for a volunteer job."

The Salvation Army always has some volunteers, but there's an even bigger need during the holidays.

"[The volunteers are] all important and we couldn't do it with just one person," volunteer Pauline Hunter said.

Kerth thinks these jobs are worth the time, even without getting paid.

"The valley is full of volunteers in all different types of jobs," Kerth said.  "We have people that are reserve police officers, people that volunteer at the hospital.  [It's] far more than financially rewarding, it's the satisfaction of getting to help people."

These volunteers put their communities before themselves.

"You can only do so much housework," Horton said.  "I wanted to do something constructive, something to help people."

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