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SEATTLE, Wash. — (March 27, 2006) — On Wednesday, March 29, Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) will participate in the United Way of King County Day of Caring at non-profit organizations throughout the region. This Day of Caring signals the start of Virginia Mason’s United Way campaign, which will run April 5 - 26, and highlights year-round volunteering.

Volunteers will lend a hand at a variety of community service projects across King and Kitsap counties: Atlantic Street Center, Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers, Treehouse, Amara Parenting & Adoption Service Center, El Centro de la Raza, Elder Health NW, Lake Heights Family YWCA, AtWork!, Federal Way Food Bank and Bainbridge Island Boys & Girls Club.

These projects represent many of the social issues and community needs in the region. They also help to serve United Way of King County’s priorities of ending homelessness and ensuring that all children are prepared for school. Virginia Mason’s focus for this Day of Caring is on organizations that maintain the health and well being of the regions’ families.

"Each and every day, VM serves our community by providing the highest quality care to the patients who come to us. Our Day of Caring takes our commitment to community service one step further by reaching out into the community and providing volunteer service in critically important agencies supported by United Way,” said Michael Vanderhoef, Vice President of Virginia Mason Foundation.

One community service example is Treehouse which provides unique services to foster children including tutoring, fees for extra-curricular programs and summer camp, and the Wearhouse, a retail-like store offering new and gently-used items for free. Volunteers with the Virginia Mason Day of Caring will assist staff in the Wearhouse on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Treehouse never underestimates the value of a clean pair of jeans, a backpack stuffed with school supplies or a new pair of shoes,” says Yvette Nickel, assistant for Treehouse Volunteer & Community Outreach. “With volunteers, it's possible to place all of these items in a foster child's hand.”

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, visit VirginiaMason.org.

United Way of King County
United Way of King County is a nonprofit community-impact organization supporting King County since 1921. Through the Community Safety Net Fund, United Way of King County assesses needs through data-driven research to address the community's most pressing priorities, which include ending homelessness and ensuring all children are prepared for success when entering kindergarten. An all-volunteer board of directors governs United Way of King County, and several hundred other community volunteers provide direction for programs and activities. A professional staff supports all efforts. For more information, please visit unitedwayofkingcounty.org.
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