Spokane mayor unveils volunteer initiative

SPOKANE, Wash. - From feeding the hungry, to walking dogs, Spokane Mayor David Condon hopes to see more of these kind gestures.

"It is a year-long goal to really get people engaged in our community with an ultimate goal to become the most compassionate community in the country," Condon said.

On Monday, the City of Spokane will launch Spokanegives.org, a website to promote and encourage volunteering. The website allows for transactions on both ends: Non-profits looking for volunteers can post their projects, which gives volunteers an array of options to where they can spend their service time.

"We have great volunteers, we have great citizen engagement, but this really takes it to the next level," Condon said. "It gets more people involved and really matches you with projects and non-profits that individuals have a passion for."

Sue Luppert has been volunteering for 25 years. She spends roughly five hours a week cooking food for the Neighborhood Sunday Lunch Program.

"It's almost like a top chef thing," Luppert said. "You come in and see what your ingredients are and whatever that is, we just make a meal out of that."

Meanwhile Taylor Olsen likes to spend her time in Spokanimal with four-legged friends.

"Walking the dogs is a huge part, like they need to be walked a lot," Olsen said. "If they need baths, we give them a lot of baths."

Condon hopes that the website will bring out more people like Luppert and Olsen. The plan is to get people started now so that when national volunteer week rolls around in April, Spokane has the chance to be named the Most Compassionate Community in the nation.

"It's not just in the city of Spokane," Condon said. "It's really all across the region and we hope to grow this in the years to come."