Shape the Mission, Become a Volunteer
The United Way of Greater Kansas City volunteer program is a great way to donate your time and make this a better community. We spoke with our own Brendan, who shared his experience—and can help you get involved!
How important are volunteers to the mission of United Way and our partner agencies?
Last year, I had the opportunity to be a United Way staff lead for the Resource Investment Process. This process occurs every 3 years and determines how funds raised by UWGKC will be utilized in the community. The group I worked with put in a lot of hours as volunteers. During the process of interviewing partner agencies, they were thorough and took their time discussing how to best use UWGKC’s funds. It was obvious this group cared about the Kansas City community. Our volunteers are the backbone of who we are as an agency. They make up our board and Donor Network cabinets. They assemble impact kits and volunteer at our partner agencies. Our volunteers shape the mission and vision of UWGKC.
What does it mean to our partner agencies to have volunteers from the community step up and help out?
It shows the investment the community has to our partner agencies. Our partners know there are people in their corner who believe in them and their mission. For some organizations, they rely on volunteers to accomplish daily tasks. Without volunteers, they would be overwhelmed and unable to achieve their mission. It’s also important to program recipients to see volunteers at the local agencies. Sometimes, these recipients need to see there are people out there who genuinely care about them and want them to succeed. Even just sitting down and having a conversation with a program recipient can make a huge difference.
What is your favorite part about interacting with volunteers?
I love seeing a person’s dedication at a volunteer event and the satisfaction they feel when accomplishing their task. At a few volunteer events, I have heard stories from individuals on why the volunteer event is important to them. I have worked a few veteran impact kit events where veterans have been assembling the kits for their company. It is amazing to hear the pride in their voice knowing the difference they’re making to those who also served.
What might surprise someone who hasn’t done a lot of volunteering, or hasn’t done it through UWGKC?
The amount of volunteer opportunities available in Kanas City. Whether it’s working a food kitchen, reading to school aged children, putting together a gardening bed, or handing out candy on Halloween, there is something out there for everyone. UWGKC is fortunate to work with so many wonderful organizations in Kansas City. We would love to help you find the perfect opportunity.
What do you say to someone who thinks they might want to volunteer but just haven’t jumped in yet?
I believe every person has something they are passionate about in their life. If you have not volunteered before, I encourage you to volunteer for something that really means a lot to you. Connecting to a mission and organization that you are passionate about can bring you such a great amount of joy. You will be surprised how awesome the feeling is when you make a difference in the community. Please get in contact with someone at UWGKC to find a place to start volunteering or visit our Volunteer Center to get started.