Jeff Fish, a longtime volunteer for Walk & Knock, was awarded the second annual Bud Pasmore Volunteer Achievement Award.
Walk & Knock is the country’s largest local one-day food drive, which serves all of Clark County.
“I’m honored,” Fish said. “I think there’s some people who probably deserve it more than I do. I’ve been around a long time, so I think that’s part of the reason I got it.”
Fish is on the organization’s board of directors and is also a sector coordinator.
“We have about 10 sectors that divide the county, and under the sector coordinator’s job, there’s usually between three and five ‘area captains,’ who get the volunteers to knock on doors and stuff like that. The sector coordinator just oversees (the area captains), helps them out and gives them instruction,” Fish explained.
Fish’s father, Wilbur, who was known by Bill, was a member of the Hazel Dell Lions Club and also helped Walk & Knock’s founder, Bud Pasmore, start the organization. Fish joined the Lions Club in 1990 to do activities with his father, which led him to volunteer with Walk & Knock.
“(My dad is) really the one who sparked my interest,” Fish said. “It’s been a family interest as well. My son-in-law has been president in the past, and my daughter and son are involved in it also. Because of my dad, it’s a family service that we’ve done.”
He said Walk & Knock aims to “canvas the county” by providing as much food as possible to different food banks in Clark County.
“The idea is to walk door-to-door and knock on the doors, which is hard to do. The last couple years have been tough because of the ‘Drive and Drop,’ where people would drop off food to keep our volunteers safe from COVID,” Fish said.
The operation also expanded into Longview and Cowlitz County this year, Fish said.
Fish personally likes being part of Walk & Knock for “the good that it does” and the results it brings.
“We do it the first Saturday of December every year,” he said. “When you go to the food bank at the end of the day and you got the better part of 10 semi-trucks full of food stacked about 6 feet high, it’s pretty impressive.”
He attributes part of the operation’s success to Bill Lundin, a volunteer who is also a trucker from Portland. Lundin is in contact with six or seven trucking companies that provide drivers and 53-foot trailers to haul the food.
“(The truckers) are stationed out there and the food is brought to different locations by the volunteers, and then the food is put in totes or boxes and loaded into the semis,” Fish said. “It’s different people doing different things they have their expertise in.”
Through Walk & Knock, Fish said he observes a lot of people who participate to make the community a better place. That serves as a “learning opportunity” for young people who are taught the value of volunteering and the rewarding feeling of helping those in need.
“Jeff epitomizes the dedication of our volunteers,” said Walk & Knock President Tom Knappenberger in a news release. “He’s there for whatever is needed, someone you can count on, and a true credit to our community.”
This year’s Walk & Knock is set for Dec. 3. More information can be found online at walkandknock.org.
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