Sunday, October 14, 2012

Volunteering can be fun and hard work

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

Volunteer opportunities are never ending.

Just when I think I have all the opportunities posted and neatly categorized, more arrive on my desk.

It is because of wonderful readers like you who become hard working volunteers that the agencies are able to say “Mission Accomplished”!

Today I am listing a few more for you to review.

If you want to get in to the spirit of Halloween, volunteer at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame on Oct. 27. They are hosting Trick or Treat and BooOOOoo Barn. Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs that day. This is a great opportunity for adults or teens who need some service hours.

Volunteers will give out candy in the Trick or Treat area, help with the crown flow at the BooOOOoo Barn, assist with art and crafts, help with milking demonstrations and help with the hayride.

They do need a tractor driver for the hayride. The time for the event is 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Costumes are encouraged but not required. For more information contact Cathi at (913) 721-1075 or at

I know we have not even celebrated Halloween, but there are people that are planning for tax season. During tax season, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are set up throughout the metro area. These sites need volunteers.  The VITA locations allow low income individuals and families to file their taxes for free.

Volunteers serve as tax preparers, greeters and receptionists. You do not need and tax experiences. However, you should be comfortable using a computer. Training will be provided; multiple opportunities will be available beginning in December.

Flexible day, evening and weekend hours are available. You can sign-up on line at At the site, click on "Volunteer."

On Friday, Nov. 2 at Memorial Hall, the Heart of America Stand Down will take place. This event is for homeless vets in the Kansas City area. This bi-annual event is a resource fair for the veteran.

Volunteers are needed to help staff one of the many resource booths. Some of the booths are ID Cards, clothing distribution, haircuts and warm meals to name just a few. Volunteers are needed to help set-up and take down for the event on Thursday, Nov. 1. About 50-75 volunteers are needed each day. This event will be at Memorial Hall on 7th Street.  Please contact Jim at (816) 763-1193 or at

The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help staff the NASCAR Foundation Booth at the Kansas Speedway.

Volunteers are needed Friday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. This is a fund-raising activity for the Red Cross. It is a neat way to help a great organization and enjoy the sights and sounds of a big race. Contact Macaela at

If you want to get your hands dirty, volunteer to help the urban farms in the metro area get ready for winter. Oct. 27 is the second annual Food Day Crop Mob. To coordinate a group or sign up as an individual, email

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.