Ideas for Living Volunteers

Program Contact: Diane Smith, Faculty, Food Access Specialist
(360) 428-4270 ext. 235 •

ideasforlivinglogoJoin the WSU Extension Ideas for Living Team.



What is Ideas for Living?

FIGHT BAC Demo at DSHSIdeas for Living has been around since 1993. It was created in response to requests from social service agencies for help teaching life skills to their clients. We offer a variety of different classes with topics including: consumer skills, healthy eating, food safety, physical activity and healthy aging. The classes are taught at local social service agencies. Most participants are adults who receive some form of public assistance. Our goal is to help them learn new ideas they can start using right away to achieve a healthy lifestyle and cope with life’s challenges.

What are the classes like?

Ideas for Living classes are very informal. We meet in small groups around a table. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the activities, and we have great discussions. At the end of class many feel they have made new friends and are eager to try the ideas they have learned. We believe these classes really do help people make better decisions about how to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is especially rewarding to receive their heartfelt thanks for the time you spent with them and the information you shared.

Am I qualified?

IFL2008GroupYou don’t need special skills and you don’t need to be fluent in English to join our team. All you need is a willingness to learn and a sincere desire to help others. Here is what a member of our team has to say about her experience: “I have been part of Ideas for Living for the past 4 years, and I have loved every minute of it. The training was wonderful and presenting Ideas for Living classes has been great! At first I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but it turned out to be easier than I thought and so rewarding”.

What kind of training will I receive?

Trish GSG2You will receive professional training on food safety, our health and wellness curricula, and group facilitation techniques. You will be given research-based information and learn how to share this information with others using discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on group activities. The training is free and will be conducted at our office in Burlington as well as at social service agencies where we currently offer classes.



What is my commitment?

Most of your time will be spent preparing for and presenting health and wellness classes in the community. You will have a great deal of flexibility in choosing when to do this. You may pick the dates and times that are most convenient for you. You will also be expected to attend monthly meetings to share your experiences and update your knowledge and skills.

MaryanngradWhat will I receive in return?

  • You will receive top quality training from Washington State University Extension educators.
  • You will learn new ideas that you can use in your daily life.
  • You will be given the opportunity to polish old skills and learn new ones that may help you in your career.
  • You will earn a Skagit County Food Worker Card.
  • You will become a member of a truly outstanding team.
  • You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference in our community by helping others.

How do I apply?

Download: Ideas for Living

Volunteer position description
Family living programs volunteer application form

or contact WSU Skagit County Extension at (360) 428-4270, ext 239.