MONROE — Kerry Boone relies on a poster board calendar to keep her family apprised of their busy schedules.
Her and husband Nate’s five kids, ages 8 to 19, know their mother still will find time for them to volunteer.
As a student at Woodinville High School, Boone once helped organize a group from church to coach for the Special Olympics. As would happen many times in her life, her volunteering overlapped with and was inspired by her belief in God.
After graduating, she spent 18 months in the Dominican Republic as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“My faith drives everything that I do and my perspective of what life is about,” she said. “To me there is nothing more important than strengthening my family and serving other people. That’s what brings joy.”
These days, the Boones live in Monroe and are part of the church’s Woods Creek ward. Three years ago, the LDS church added Washington state to the website, www.justserve.org. Boone helps run the site, which connects anyone who is interested in volunteering with local opportunities. Her focus is the Monroe and Sultan area.
“You just put in your ZIP code and find needs right in your own area,” she said.
The site helped her learn about area nonprofits. When her children were younger, she volunteered more in their schools. Monroe doesn’t have as many resources for dealing with social issues as more populated areas, so it’s important to connect with folks, she said.
She meets so many who are kind to others, especially those who themselves have experienced hard times.
“I am just so amazed by what people do,” she said.
Boone also is part of the grant-funded Monroe Community Coalition, which works on issues such as mental health, substance abuse and other challenges faced by young people. The coalition wanted representatives from the faith community, and her bishop suggested she attend.
That effort then got her involved in National Night Out. This year, she and her husband ran a booth for JustServe, with a photography station and a bean bag toss. She also recently helped teen girls create comfort kits for chemotherapy patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Earlier this month, she and others from church made blankets for refugees.
Giving back doesn’t have to involve a big to-do. Last November, leading up to Thanksgiving, the Boones baked loaves of rustic bread and sold them to neighbors. They voted as a family on a cause. They sent the proceeds, $1,300, to a group that works with refugees.
They look for volunteer roles that appeal to different kids’ strengths, she said.
One daughter is a good listener with a knack for social situations. Another, quiet and driven, ran a clothing drive for homeless teens. Their son is active with Boy Scouts.
They talk about their projects during dinner. They aim to share a meal together every evening. Sometimes, that can be hard to schedule. She tries to make the time.