Shoppers cruising around at the Everett Mall to buy a pair of jeans or a CD on Saturday will find they can do a little browsing for volunteer...

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Shoppers cruising around at the Everett Mall to buy a pair of jeans or a CD on Saturday will find they can do a little browsing for volunteer work while they’re at it.

United Way of Snohomish County is partnering with the mall and several other groups to present the 2008 Volunteer Expo. The event, which starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., is a chance for people to peruse booths manned by about 55 different agencies.

“We call it one-stop shopping for volunteer opportunities,” United Way of Snohomish County spokeswoman Deborah Squires said.

Expo visitors can learn about a range of possibilities, from what it’s like to work with homeless and runaway youths to where they can get their hands dirty in community-service projects.

The idea is to do a bit of window shopping — ask questions, do comparative shopping and see what may be the best fit.

Getting the entire family to volunteer is the focus of this year’s event, said Karen Schaeffer, who is helping to organize the expo.

A puppeteer performance, a story-time reading and a community mural project are meant to draw in families, and the Snohomish County Disaster Planning Team will be on hand to encourage families to create disaster plans.

This is the eighth annual expo, which organizers say grew out of the need to inform people about the diversity of volunteer work available in the area and let them know how they could get involved. About 500 or so people are expected to come check out the event.

Olivia Burley of Everett leads a group of families that get together about once a month and volunteer in the community. She and her group will set up a booth at the expo that focuses on how to get parents and kids involved in community service together.

“We thought it would be fun to talk to kids and families about what it means to help out in your community,” she said. “We’ll just be talking to families about how much we get out of volunteering each month.”

Christina Siderius: 425-745-7813 or csiderius@seattletimes.com