Shelley Pauls has a passion for supporting and serving others.
Pauls, who works at Sea-Tac Airport as a customer service agent supervisor for Alaska Airlines, has lived in the Federal Way area for the past 17 years and got involved in the community about five years ago after volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
Through that work, Pauls got to know different people, churches and organizations.
“I took a lot of time to get to know all sorts of nonprofits,” she said.
Now, Pauls can connect others to organizations for which they feel passionately.
”What I want to be able to do is help people find where they want to serve,” she said. “We want everyone to experience the joy of serving and discover their God-given passions, gifts and talents.”
Organizations often reach out to Pauls to ask for her help finding volunteers for various events or projects.
“I send out emails once or twice a month (saying) ‘there is this need or this drive,’ ” she said.
Pauls isn’t just about connecting people with organizations. She is involved with a variety organizations and projects herself, including cleaning up parks; construction projects; picking up litter; helping with local food, diaper and school supply drives; and planning, organizing and decorating for community events.
Three years ago, Pauls spearheaded the We Love Our City event, which brings hundreds of volunteers together for a day of service each October.
Dan Larson, pastor at Family Life Community Church where Pauls attends, recruited her to coordinate the annual event.
“A few churches in the past had done a service day, and it just kind of fell away,” Pauls said. “He wanted to bring it back. He knows I know so many people in the community.”
Pauls is also passionate about helping the homeless. She is involved in the Federal Way Day Center and is a committee member on the city’s Homeless Mothers and Children Initiative, where she acts as a liaison between the committee and the faith-based organizations in the community.
“They knew I know the people (in the faith-based community),” she said. “That is why I can represent them and be a voice to that group.”
Pauls can often be found behind a camera as well, capturing community events.
“There’s so many great stories and so many wonderful people doing so many things,” she said. “We don’t always get the story out. I love taking pictures and getting the story and sharing the story to inspire people.”
While Pauls considers herself to be a cheerleader, encouraging and supporting local organizations, she said her husband, Dwight, volunteers alongside her and does much of the heavy lifting.
Serving the community runs in the family. Their daughter, Laura, and son-in-law, Dustin, can often be found volunteering with them. The Pauls’ son, Aaron, is a firefighter in Los Angeles County.
It is the volunteers and their desire to serve that keeps Pauls giving back to the community.
“There’s such a great heart and spirit in the nonprofits and the volunteers,” she said. “I have just grown to really appreciate them all.”
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