Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Invest in our future: Volunteer

By DIANE HENTGES, Director of the Volunteer Center at the United Way of Wyandotte County

The youth of our community are the future of our community. They need our guidance, our understanding and our caring.

There are ample opportunities for committed volunteers to make a difference in the life of a young person.

YouthBuild KCK is a 10-month comprehensive human development program providing education enrichment, construction skills and job training to at-risk young adults between the ages 16-24.

All trainees split their time between the classroom, construction sites and doing community service. Tutors and mentors are needed to help teens and young adults as they earn their GED and work on marketable job skills. If you are interested in helping please contact Shelia at 913-3713770 or at

YouthFriends is a nationally recognized and rapidly growing school-based mentoring network involving more than 70 school districts across the country. The Kansas City Kansas Public Schools District participates. If you are interested in becoming a YouthFriend, contact Tina at 913-627-2631 or at

Bethel Neighborhood Center offers an inter-generational social, educational and recreational program for youth ages 11-18 and adults age 60 and older. It provides assistance/referral and youth education for home repair, language translation, and financial literacy for individuals and families, offers an after school and summer enrichment program for youth ages 5-14 free of charge.

Volunteers enhance their programing in a variety of ways. They serve as tutors and mentors. Volunteers can help by sharing a skill or craft with the youth at Bethel. If you are interested in helping, contact Rakmi at 913-371-8218 or at

These are only a few of the varied programs in our community that directly impact youth. What other programs may be in your area? Schools, church organizations, youth groups and sports teams all need committed volunteers.

For more information on how you can GIVE, ADVOCATE, and VOLUNTEER please contact me at 913-371-3674 or at

You can find volunteer opportunities by checking out our website, and click on Volunteer.