Volunteer of the week: Karalee Ehline

Current employer or place of business: Registered Nurse at Providence St. Vincent Hospital.

Organization(s) I volunteer with: Board member at Innovative Services NW, Deacon at Livingwater Church.

How I got involved: My son was born with cerebral palsy. He began receiving therapy services at Innovative Services NW when he was 9 months old. He continued therapy there for more than 14 years. During this time, I was asked to join the Board of Directors to bring a voice and perspective of a mom who has been involved in the daily therapy sessions at Innovative for so many years, as well as bringing my perspective as a health care professional.

Why I give back: Simple … I give back because so much has been given to us. I was continually amazed at the outpouring of support, professionalism and genuine care given to my family by the therapy staff at Innovative Services NW. I always felt like their passion was to see that my son would overcome every obstacle that was before him. Although he does have a lifelong disability, we feel blessed that he has so many abilities. This is why I also volunteer at my church as a Deacon, or helper, to those in our church and in our immediate community of Vancouver, who have obstacles or are disadvantaged. I have always felt that I could help, even in the smallest way.

Proudest moment as a volunteer: I think my proudest moment as a volunteer at Innovative Services NW was pitching a new program to be offered at Innovative. Over the course of about a year, I helped cultivate the onboarding of our Intensive Physical Therapy Program. Prior to this being offered at Innovative, we had to go to Portland every day. Now, there are many families in Clark County that are benefiting from this program, just as Nathan did.

What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? I am passionate about the opportunity for people with disabilities or mental challenges to be able to participate in working at a job and then, in turn, be a part of the community. This opportunity not only helps them, but also is invaluable to those of us who come in contact with them. They are amazing individuals.

Just for fun, what are your hidden talents? I play volleyball and indoor soccer on a weekly basis.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.