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Volunteer of the Month August 2014: Michelle Champley

When I moved to the Issaquah Highlands in 2006, I fell in love with the neighborhood. At first, I felt overwhelmed in this live/ work community, as it was hard to make connections. During my transition period, I joined Facebook solely to stay in touch with family, friends and old co-workers.VOM Champley August 2014 Portrait

Eight years later, I have settled into this community and started a small business ( Operating a service-related company has allowed me to meet and interact with many residents in the Issaquah Highlands. Yet one day I felt a need to do more. When I searched for the answer I realized I wanted to give back to the same community in which I live and work. I first used social media as a tool to listen to fellow residents on neighborhood forums, which soon led to actively participating and volunteering in Issaquah Highlands interest groups on Facebook.

As a volunteer, I wanted to explore many different opportunities, not just as a mother, or a small business owner, but for my own self-being. Through Facebook, I have been an active participant in groups like the neighborhood community pages and IH Pet Club (to educate children and adults of the animals found in our area). I attend the Knitting Group, so my daughter can continue learning her hobby with peers and adults. I am also a member of the IH Free Exchange where items are given, instead of sold; and with the administrators’ blessing, I volunteer as the lead for the group’s book lending library.
I happily accepted the invitation to volunteer in this year’s Bark for Life of Issaquah ( to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Cancer has touched some of my family members, friends and even pets that I have worked with this past year. I feel satisfied I can lend a helping hand to local events in and around my neighborhood.

Finally, I began a new interest group called Issaquah Workout Warriors for female residents who are striving to live a healthier lifestyle through exercise. This group is great for new residents to meet and build lasting friendships within the community. This group has blossomed from just a few members meeting on weekends to over 50 members, some meeting daily.

By giving back to the Issaquah Highlands as a volunteer, it has made me feel more fulfilled. Facebook in particular has been a great tool in finding and participating in so many of these community groups. So the next time you see me wearing one of my Facebook t-shirts (no, I don’t work there), give me a wave, or stop and say hello. I’d love to meet you!