The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed this week as Volunteer Week, joining a national observance to honor all volunteers.

Each year since 1974, the president of the United States has signed a proclamation in support of National Volunteer Week, the last week of April, to honor people who donate their time and energy to their community.

Chairwoman Helen Westbrook said the proclamation by the Board of Commissioners is intended to honor every citizen in Clatsop County who volunteers their time and energy to their community.

"Volunteers form the backbone of many services in our community, whether they are volunteering on a county advisory committee or with another organization, helping abused children, abandoned animals, families in crisis or enabling the elderly to stay in their own homes," Westbrook said. "Volunteers make our community a better place to live."

She urged everyone to take time this week to thank volunteers for their invaluable service MORE INFO.More information about volunteer opportunities with the county is available from the Clatsop County Administrator's Office, 800 Exchange St., Suite 310, Astoria, or call 325-1000. Information is also posted on the county's Web site at ( to begin dedicating a few hours of their own to volunteer to help people and programs in need.

Clatsop County's 500-plus volunteers are vital to maintaining the quality of county services, County Administrator Scott Derickson said. "Our volunteers are a precious commodity in Clatsop County. They really are the oil that makes the wheel turn."

Volunteers help provide public safety by serving on the various search and rescue teams, on the posse, as reserve officers and as mentors for children struggling in school. Volunteers are instrumental in health and human services, from serving as interpreters to serving on committees that advocate for children and families to caring for cats and dogs at the animal shelter. Volunteers serving on the county's many citizen advisory committees provide invaluable input on issues including county finances, mental health, economic development, land use, public works, housing, public safety and recreation.