Giving Time, Making a Difference

For volunteers like Jan, donating time is a direct path toward improving our region

United Way of Greater Kansas City is fortunate to have advocates in the future who consistently donate their time toward making this a better community. We recently spoke with one such volunteer, Jan, who shared her experience—and encouraged others to step up as well!


Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because I like to try new things, keep busy, meet people outside of my regular circle, learn new things, and help people and organizations that benefit others.


When did you first volunteer with UWGKC?

I began volunteering with UWGKC when I retired after 42 years of teaching in 2015. I volunteered in the public school, in a hospital gift shop and at a local museum but the best thing about volunteering with UWGKC is that you don't have to commit to a weekly stint.  I have volunteered mostly at the Mad City Money and Poverty Simulation events that occur on random occasions throughout the year, as well as at some one-time events.  You can just go on the website and find a "menu" of opportunities to fit your schedule and interests. 


What’s important to you in a volunteer event?

What matters most to me about volunteering is that I am useful. I don't like to answer a call for volunteers and find out that there are so many who show up that there is not enough for everyone to do.


What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?

Sometimes you just have to take that leap.  If you think that you do not have the right skills or you are too busy, just take time to look at the UWGKC website. Helping others is what we are meant to do and if you don't give it a try it's like never having tasted ice cream-- you are missing something good!


What do you hope your volunteering achieves?

I hope volunteering can help someone.  When I taught in the classroom, I saw how the volunteers helped me so much by relieving my workload and allowing me to actually teach. I want to do that for so many of the overworked employees in the social services industry.  In doing that, hopefully I might inspire someone else.


Visit our Volunteer Center to get started.