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Nominate someone for a Washington State Volunteer Service Award

New volunteer service award structure emphasizes local recognition and removing participation barriers

OLYMPIA—Serve Washington is pleased to announce nominations are open for the Washington State Volunteer Service Awards.


The purpose of these awards is to honor the many acts of kindness individuals, families, service groups and organizations perform in communities across the state of Washington.

Nominations are open to anyone who has performed any type of service—formal or informal—in the past year. We are seeking nominations that demonstrate all types of volunteerism: neighbors helping neighbors, giving time to hospitals, disaster preparedness efforts, supporting food banks, delivering meals, participation in national service and those who informally give their time, care, or assistance to meet challenges.

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 22, 2023. Submit your nomination!

“Serve Washington supports programs that bring diverse individuals and perspectives to serve our state,” said Amber Martin-Jahn, Serve Washington’s executive director. “Through these awards, we seek to recognize individuals and groups who reflect the diversity of our state for their contributions toward effectively addressing issues that face their communities.”

About the awards

Awards will be given to one outstanding individual and one volunteer group or program in each of the following regions:

  • Peninsula/Coastal: Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Kitsap counties
  • South Puget Sound: Mason, Thurston, Pierce and Lewis counties
  • Southwest: Cowlitz, Skamania, Clark and Wahkiakum counties
  • South Central: Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Klickitat, Walla Walla and Yakima counties
  • Southeast: Adams, Whitman, Garfield, Columbia and Asotin counties
  • Northeast: Ferry, Stevens, Pend Orielle, Lincoln, and Spokane counties
  • North Central: Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties
  • North Puget Sound: King and Snohomish counties
  • Northwest: Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties

These regions are set by the Nonprofit Association of Washington and 501 Commons, which are two of Serve Washington’s primary partners who support community-based volunteerism.

The awards replace the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which were held in Olympia for many years. Serve Washington redesigned the awards to make participation more equitable by removing barriers such as time and costs associated with travel while being more reflective of local communities’ preferences for recognition.

“We believe volunteerism promotes bonds across various races, cultures, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences,” Martin-Jahn said. “We also believe national service, volunteerism and civic engagement are key to achieving equity, strengthening communities and improving lives. These beliefs led us to restructure our volunteer recognition awards with pro-equity and anti-racism in mind. We want to remove barriers for participation by engaging at the local level and celebrating the rich diversity of the people and communities of Washington. Together we can build a service culture where all experiences that make us human are honored.”

Under the governor’s Executive Order 16-08, Serve Washington is responsible for making service part of the lives of all Washingtonians. Volunteer recognition activities are part of this duty.

Learn more

Answers to frequently asked questions and a copy of the nomination form and guidelines can be found on our Washington State Volunteer Service Awards webpage.

Information and technical assistance: Serve Washington host a virtual technical assistance session for anyone with technical questions about the new awards, nomination form or process from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 on Zoom. There’s no need to register. Simply click this link at the time of the session to join.

If you have additional questions or need the nomination form and guidelines in an alternate format, please call (360) 902-0656 or email [email protected].


The Serve Washington Team


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