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Volunteer Spotlight: Michael-Josef Bernards

volunteer_michael_bernardsThis month’s volunteer spotlight features a newer North Plains resident, but one who is inspirational in both his affection and volunteer work for our community. Michael-Josef Bernards and his wife Natalie (who also volunteers in the community) moved to Oregon four years ago. While it was professional opportunities that brought them, Michael said “it was the city's location, sense of safety, and tranquility which drew us to North Plains.”

Michael jumped straight into volunteering and has served on the City of North Plains Parks and Recreation Board since 2018. He is the current president and a founding member (in 2020) of the North Plains Parks Foundation. He also helps with various community events including the North Plains Events Association’s Elephant Garlic Festivals and Chili Cook-offs, and the North Plains Police Department’s National Night Outs.

“Not only is volunteering an incredible experience for one's personal development, it also brings out the best in people,” said Michael, “It helps connect people within the community and great things will always come from ensuring as many diverse sets of perspectives are included - especially in volunteering.”

When asked what compels him to volunteer, Michael reflected on his 22 years of living overseas experiencing different cultures and witnessing acts of altruism bringing people together. The values of contributing to society in a positive manner and forging communal friendships and acquaintances took root.

Michael encourages any and all to get involved. “With the City poised to expand and welcome new residents, it will be great to represent everyone’s respective needs by adding new skills to our community’s various volunteer opportunities,” he said.

Michael is fluent in German, loves dogs and soccer, and he and his wife recently welcomed their new little one, Morris-Josef, into the world.

Congratulations to you and your family on the new addition, Michael, and thank you so much for your dedication to North Plains.