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Volunteers of the Month – Thuan Stevens and Katie Hays

Thuan Stevens
The Toddler Playgroup has always been a favorite for my kids. It’s a highlight because we do more than just hang out. We sing songs, do crafts, have snacks and story time. I lead songs, choosing ones I taught to the children at the homeless shelter in North Bend. People would ask if I majored in music or give private lessons. My reply is always the same: just theater and local performances. In other words, community involvement.

Since I was three years old, my aunt would sign me up for local auditions. I grew up performing solos at schools, singing at nursing homes, churches, and local theaters. I love meeting the people who make this community the way it is. Everyone has a talent and together we share our talents to better our community and for our enjoyment. I’m fortunate to have volunteer at Playgroup with Alicia, Arlene, Natalia and Lara in the past, and now with Katie. Katie is so good at setting up and greeting people every Wednesday at 10:00 AM sharp before I show up to do my part at 10:30. Without her and the help of many other moms and dads there, things would not run as smoothly as they have been. While I teach, my two-year-old and nine-week-old are watched over by the parents and guardians there. It’s a beautiful program.

So, what inspires me to continue volunteering my time to the Toddler Playgroup? Connections, a sense of belonging and a place I feel appreciated. I love the set-up we have and hope everyone gets a chance to come meet and greet with us, or maybe come join our sweet chorus when your heart feels like bursting into songs.

Katie Hays
The Issaquah Highlands Playgroup became a regular activity for me and my daughter, Cora, when she was about 11 months old. At the time, she was very cautious and wouldn’t take her first few steps. A day after attending the playgroup, she took the plunge and walked independently. Now she’s two years old and we are completely hooked.

When we started going to playgroup, it was just a fun outing for us. As I watched the leaders, Thuan and Lara, share song and dance with the children, I was inspired by their dedication and energy. There was such a sense of community in this 90 minute session.

When the opportunity to volunteer arose, I was thrilled to take it. It’s funny because I don’t consider myself a volunteer. After all, it doesn’t feel like work and I completely enjoy my time with the children, parents, and caregivers who attend. My daughter certainly loves it – she learns, plays, and socializes with great kids. Now I have a new baby and can’t wait to see him grow up with the playgroup kids as well.

There’s no better way to meet kind individuals with similar interests than spending time, helping out our neighbors. I’d highly recommend jumping in and adding a bit to this unbeatable community. It’s shocking how giving time here and there can make a difference on such a large scale.

Every Wednesday
10:00am – 11:30am
Blakely Hall
For Moms, Dads and caregivers
and their newborns to Age 4
See for more information