Wednesday, December 26, 2012

COLUMN: Volunteers are a gift

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

For local non-profits, governmental agencies, schools and churches - volunteers are a cherished gift.

It is because of the commitment and dedication of volunteers that organizations are able to fulfill their missions.  Volunteers serve as board members, helping to define policies, set direction and secure funding.

Some volunteers donate their professional expertise as an attorney, a physician, nurse, teacher, accountant, artist, or as a software or web designer - to name a few.

Volunteers are ready to respond to local disasters whenever the unexpected happens. Mentors and tutors, scout leaders, little league coaches are all volunteers - helping to guide and direct our future generations.

Community gardens flourish because of caring volunteers with a green thumb. Local history is preserved and shared through the hard work of volunteers. Libraries and the arts benefit from interested volunteers who devote time and energy so that we all may enjoy.

The homeless, the hungry and the dying are all served by volunteers who take time to care. These volunteers listen, they encourage, they comfort and they serve. They serve with compassion.

The Gift of volunteering in Kansas ranks our state as number seven out of 50. That is pretty darn good.

That means that 790,170 volunteers serve statewide, giving 90.9 million hours of service valued at $1.9 billion. That is a GIFT!

Volunteers are a Gift that keeps giving all year long.

For more information on how you can be a gift and VOLUNTEER, please contact me at 913-371-3674 or at