Marysville Getchell High School student Cristina Velasco has more than 600 hours of volunteer service for the past three years and was recently recognized by the Marysville Rotary.
Velasco is the latest recipient of the Marysville Rotary’s Community Service Recognition Award that is meant to highlight local students who give back to their community. She received the award on May 1.
“What we started a few years ago is to really recognize people that have gone above and beyond, and that’s why we’re here today, because we want to promote that,” said Daryn Bundy, a member of the Marysville Rotary.
Velasco has given her time to many local organizations.
She spent about 90 hours helping out at Camp Patterson, a camp for local people with disabilities, this last summer.
“It’s a camp for disabled kids,” she said, “I would stay there for the day and just help them do games.”
At the Marysville Library she helps with bigger events, preparing supplies and support their “Tween Tuesdays” program.
For the Marysville Rotary she has supported their auction events at the casino which help raise funds for the community.
Velasco has helped a few branches of Eagle Wings disAbility Ministries and volunteered at their Halloween event.
At the Sno-Isle Service Center she has helped with book plating for the center’s Third Grade Reading Challenge.
She said that her favorite volunteer service has been helping with the Kids Night Out events at the Marysville YMCA.
“You just hang out with the kids and watch them,” said Velasco.
“I think my favorite part of that one was just talking to the kids because they always have something funny to say. We also went with them to the gym and played sports so that was fun,” she said.
Velasco began volunteering because of getting involved with the Key Club at her school. Key Clubs are Rotary’s youth service club branch.
“That’s where I first started hearing about volunteer opportunities,” she said.
She was president of the club last year and is now acting Lieutenant Governor over five regional Key Clubs.
The Key Club at her school has grown since she started at it, said Velasco, and more students are getting engaged with the club.
“When I first started our club was pretty small, but now we have like 70 members and they’re just as passionate,” said Velasco.
“It’s nice to see how you can start something and it will catch on and other people can start to enjoy it as well,” she said.
The club introduced her to volunteering and now she said she’s gotten a lot out of it.
“At first I just did it to fill my time because I had a lot of it, but then I started really enjoying it. It’s really fulfilling knowing that you’re doing something meaningful for your community,” said Velasco.