Bounds wins volunteer award

Emily Bounds


News editor

July 16, 2005

United Way has honored one of the youngest volunteers in the community as its 2005 Volunteer of the Year.

Emily Bounds, a 2005 graduate of Hood River Valley High School, has been a mentor with the Hood River County Big Brother/Big Sister Program for the past 18 months, meeting each week with a fourth-grader named Kyle.

“It’s a true friendship,” said a surprised Bounds after she accepted the honor at United Way’s annual recognition event July 7 at Hospice of the Gorge.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Bounds, who will attend Western Oregon University this fall. She came to the United Way event knowing she was nominated but not sure she would win. “There are so many great people in this room,” she said.

“If anyone doubts they can be of help and make a difference, I could tell them they just need to try it and they will see they can,” Bounds said, when asked how she would encourage young people who are interested in volunteering but unsure of their potential.

Representatives of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and more than a dozen other agencies attending the event accepted checks from the United Way, handed out by board president Paul Blackburn. United Way also presented a plaque to longtime board member Dick Schmuck for his years of service to United Way.

Each year the United Way recognizes a volunteer from among its 16 or so recipient agencies, for their work in the community. Volunteers with senior meals, FISH, and Court Appointed Special Advocates program have been honored in recent years.

This year it was a teenager’s turn, for her role in guiding a fourth-grade boy in need of positive companionship.

“Ms. Bounds is an exemplary mentor to a fourth grade boy,” wrote Jennifer Swanson, Big Brothers/Big Sisters On-Site Supervisor in her nomination letter.

“The dedication and friendship Ms. Bounds unselfishly offers her Little Brother is evident through her consistent friendship and warm support.”

Her Little Brother, Kyle (not his real name) attends May Street Elementary. The two meet each Monday after school for an hour. They play games, talk, work on projects and “just be themselves with one another,” Swanson wrote.

Bounds and Kyle were matched up shortly after Kyle arrived in the Gorge from the Midwest.

“Kyle knows he can count on Ms. Bounds to be at May Street Elementary each Monday afternoon. In return, Ms. Bounds understands her responsibility to Kyle as a consistent friend in his life.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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