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
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.
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 Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish Counties since 1989 and want to know how we can support you or your loved one.