When Leyna Krow first signed up as a volunteer with SNAP, she didn’t realize that she would be working alongside squirrels, deer and grazing turkeys.
Over the summer, Leyna donated two to three hours each week to help manicure the grounds at SNAP’s Mission Support Center on Fort George Wright Drive. Located a stone’s throw from the Spokane River and the Centennial Trail, the site features a wide variety of flora and fauna — a feature appreciated by all who call the former Dominican Center home. “It’s a nice place to work,” Leyna said. “I like the way the woods hedge up against the campus.” If Leyna starts to wax lyrical about her time as a volunteer, it would make sense. When autumn arrived, she was back in class, teaching English Composition at Gonzaga University and North Idaho College. She has her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of California/Santa Clara and a master’s of fine arts degree in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. As her seasonal break from teaching approached, Leyna said she was hoping to make a difference as a volunteer. “I have a lot of time off during the summer,” she said. “I was looking for something worthwhile.”
While looking for volunteer opportunities, Leyna said she had “seen the SNAP name around town and it sounded like a neat organization.” During her tenure at Fort Wright she discovered the agency offers over 30 programs to help people achieve stability and self-reliance.“The extent of services is amazing — it’s like a laundry list,” she said. Leyna’s volunteer application referred to gardening at home. At Fort Wright, her responsibilities involved pruning hedges, weeding, clearing leaves and taking care of the variety of plants throughout the campus. “It’s been nice to be outside,” Leyna said. “Not everything I do has to be academic. I guess my favorite part of volunteering was just doing the work itself. I learned quite a bit about gardening and groundswork from (Maintenance Supervisor) Roy (Walther). It was fun to do something where you can work for a couple hours and see actual, physical evidence of the improvement you’ve made. I don’t get that feeling so much in my day job.” Leyna is part of a considerable SNAP volunteer contingent that helps out in a variety of areas, including information technology, clerical assistance, financial counseling, advocacy for seniors and more. Last year, SNAP volunteers contributed 11,341 hours of service. “Leyna is a great example of someone who had some spare time and wanted to make a difference,” said SNAP Volunteer Specialist Anne Marie Shoemaker. “It’s people like her who really bring another layer of stability to our organization.” To learn more about SNAP volunteer opportunities, call Sharon at 456-7111, ext. 211 Story & photo by Craig Howard. Originally published: 10.30.13