Tanya Baer’s husband is a North Delridge Volunteer, and she decided to join him in her own way, outside of meetings…
Why did you decide to move to North Delridge?
My husband and I were looking in West Seattle, and a realtor showed us Snake Hill. It was then that I said, “This is it.” It was all the trees, the rural sense without sidewalks at the time and it felt like we were out of the city a little bit.
You’ve served the neighborhood in different capacities. When did you first engage and why?
It’s kind of funny, because I resisted a little bit at first. I am someone who tends to overcommit at times, and Patrick was really committed to the neighborhood so I thought it should be his thing.
But, one day he came home from a North Delridge Neighborhood council meeting, and he said that our neighbor, Amanda, was going to take on Delridge Day by herself and she needed some help. He thought I should do it. Knowing that it was going to be a neighbor driven event really got me involved.
How long have you served the community through Delridge Day?
I participated for 3 years in different roles for vendor and outreach, and I continued in a lesser capacity by just showing up to help as my life had changes that took up more of my time. I think a really important piece is that it would be helpful if more people would get involved. If I could have found more people who could have chaired with me, I would have liked to continue to support it in that way.
If someone wanted to get involved in volunteering in the neighborhood, what advice would you give them?
Of all of the different ways to volunteer, which there are many, being in the neighborhood really connects you to your neighbors and local business owners which helps build relationships. You can keep it as contained as you need to so that you don’t overextend yourself. As a volunteer, it can be what you have to give.
Sometimes when we think of volunteering in our neighborhood, we think of the opportunities we know and have heard of already. Like the neighborhood council meetings, I know I am the kind of person who doesn’t want to sit in a meeting, and so I would encourage people who see a need in their neighborhood, you can do something whether it’s cleaning up the traffic circle or doing an art project with preschoolers. Really, volunteering is about being excited about something and moving towards it.