The ability to handle and resolve conflict is not a skill we are born with. It is something we learn through experience. It is a skill we learn from dealing with friends, family, and our community. Sometimes a situation arises that seems overwhelming or too difficult. We can often feel alone with our hardships or that others will not understand or be able to help. We live and work together in our communities yet many feel isolated, powerless, without options or support, but luckily our rural community has services available to help in difficult situations.
The Okanogan County Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) has been serving our county for the past 30 years but I bet not many of you have heard of us. We are one of those community services that stays relatively unknown until needed. The reason we have been in operation for so long is because of our dedicated volunteers, who are trained and certified to act as neutral mediators and help people navigate a variety of personal and professional conflicts.
Mediation is an alternative solution to litigation and can be faster, less expensive, and more successful because when a mutual agreement is reached both sides feel their concerns have been heard and addressed. Mediation also increases access to justice and resolution for our under-served and low-income population.
On behalf of the entire DRC board, I would like to thank our volunteer mediators, Candis Cochran, Renee Ewalt, Linda Pierce, and George Schneider, for their years with us and their knowledge, skill, and dedication to providing this essential service to our fellow community members. The DRC would not be successful without you.
If you have any questions about our services or would be interested in volunteering, call (509) 826-1776 or visit www.okanogandrc.org.
Shauna Field, OCDRC Board President