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Marysville's Snyder recognized for volunteer work with Providence Hospice
MARYSVILLE — Marysville's Rick Snyder was recognized this year for more than a dozen years of volunteer service to Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County.
Snyder was one of the winners of this year's Woodrow Award for his efforts on behalf of Camp Erin, an annual summer bereavement program for children and teens from ages 6-17 who are dealing with the deaths of loved ones. This year marked Snyder's seventh Camp Erin, where he works to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the children.
"Rick is truly an exceptional person in our community," said Jenell Harris, development assistant with Providence Hospice. "A rare find is this man."
The weekend-long Camp Erin combines traditional camp activities with education and emotional support facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. Campers meet other children who are coping with similar losses to their own, and are given outlets and resources to come to terms with their feelings about lost loved ones. Snyder found himself sharing his campers' journey two years ago, when he was faced with the death of a close family member.
"They wouldn't usually let someone in my position return to help the camp run that year, but because of my faith, I knew I'd be fine," Snyder said. "I got at least as much out of it as the kids did. I worked through my own grief by helping them work through theirs. You get out of life what you put into it."
Snyder got into volunteering for Providence Hospice through his wife's work with the organization, and he urged others to contribute their own time, efforts and resources to help those at the end of their lives with their passing.
"Many years ago, our agency was founded by volunteers who responded to a need they recognized in the community," said Paula Beatty, executive director of Providence Hospice. "Many, many years later, they continue to respond. Our appreciation for their ongoing dedication is deep and heartfelt. We truly could not do it without them."