Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teach, knit, prepare....volunteer

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

I am constantly amazed at the unique and interesting volunteer opportunities that are available to those willing to give of themselves.

Let me share a few really unusual opportunities with you. I bet there is one that will grab your interest.

Rosedale Congregational Church not only cares for the spiritual well-being of members, but hosts a program that focus on the well-being of the body.

The Rosedale Healthy Kids Initiative (HKI) is a community effort to reduce childhood obesity in the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City by promoting healthy, active lifestyles for all residents.

The program is offered on Wednesday afternoons from 3-4 p.m. Volunteers are key to the success of this program.

Volunteers will serve as cooking teachers, exercise teachers, craft teachers, small group leaders and snack chef. Someone is also needed to make sure all participants sign-in and are picked-up by the appropriate caregiver.

All volunteers will go through required background checks.  If you are interested in helping reduce childhood obesity, give Danielle a call at 913-206-4593 or contact her at

The Kansas Children’s Service League is calling attention to infant abuse and the Period of Purple Crying.

This is a normal, but frustrating period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few months after birth. They are looking for volunteers to knit or crochet a purple newborn baby cap. The caps need to be at least 50 percent purple, any shade, and made of a soft baby-friendly yarn.

You can use any baby cap pattern.  The educational campaign will take place in November and December. The purple caps will be given to babies to help educate the parents about the period of purple crying. KCSL would like the caps by Oct. 1, 2012. You may drop off your caps at the United Way of Wyandotte weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Do you know what to do when a tornado hits our area or flood waters head our way?  You can know what to do if you become a CERT volunteer. Emergency Management, a department of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Kansas City Kansas is offering Community Emergency Response Training, (CERT) class beginning September 20, 2012. The classes continue through November 1st.

Classes are held each Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at the Emergency Operation Center in the basement of City Hall. There is no cost for this program. Space is limited.

To receive a certificate, attendance is required at every session. The curriculum provides information about basic disaster skills and is based on “what to do until help arrives”.

Individuals interested in enrolling should contact Mike at 913-573-5300.

Another volunteer opportunity to help our community be better prepared for the unexpected happens on Tuesday, Sept. 25.Wyandotte County Health Department has requested volunteers to help with an exercise of their Community Reception Center (CRC) plan to provide population monitoring for affected individuals exposed or concerned they have been exposed to radiation from a dirty bomb.

This exercise is being conducted as part of the National Level Exercise (NLE) Amber Waves.

Health Department staff and volunteers will provide command, general staff for logistics, planning, and finance, as well as workers for those sections.

The KDHE Radiation Division will provide radiation monitoring and decontamination operations. Several volunteer positions are available, and volunteers are also needed to walk through the CRC.

The exercise involves monitoring and decontaminating vehicles and animals. Animals are needed to go through a portal and be decontaminated (with water).

The exercise will be at the Kansas Army National Guard Armory, 100 S 20th St, Kansas City, Kansas. Volunteers who work the CRC will need to be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers who want to walk through the CRC may arrive at 12:30 p.m. and expect to go through in about an hour if “contaminated” and 30 minutes if not.

Please contact Teneice Owens at or 913-573-6767 if interested.

I have just a mentioned in this article a few of the many opportunities awaiting volunteers in our area.

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.