We invite you to Live United in service to our community. We work with individuals, community groups, and corporations in identifying and creating meaningful opportunities to make an impact in Douglas County through volunteerism. To find current opportunities, please visit www.VolunteerDouglasCounty.org
UNITED WAY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
This program partners with the Harvesters BackSnack program to provide a book each Friday to students receiving a weekend food backpack. All books are collected through planned drives or received as donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals. New inventory is sorted and shelved by volunteers who have been trained on how to sort the books by reading level and proper shelving techniques.
Throughout the year, this program works with local schools to make sure that they have a bounty of books and that they match the appropriate reading levels of their students. In this past year, the Brainfood program collected and delivered 14,000 books for 400 local students.
Volunteers, books, and empty boxes for deliveries make this program run smoothly!
UNITED WAY READERS:
Children learn to read in the early-grade years so they can read and learn throughout the rest of their lives. A missed opportunity to read at grade level by the fourth grade could set an individual’s quest for learning back permanently. You can help by volunteering to be a United Way Reader. In conjunction with classroom teachers and the Boys & Girls Club, volunteers provide much-needed reading practice time with students, either one on one or with small groups, for one hour per week. These interactions help these youths to be on track towards literacy and inspire more confidence in their learning. This past year, 475 hours were spent by volunteers reading to children.
BACK 2 SCHOOL: SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE:
We work together to make sure that our communities’ children have the necessary supplies to start the school year. Volunteers help equip Douglas County students for school by staffing school supply drives during the summer at local grocery stores. Each year, the need for access to school supplies grows. Last year, 3,479 students received school supplies through these collections. This is a great opportunity for individuals and groups alike to get involved in their community!
MENGEL SWIM PASS PROGRAM:
The Roger Hill Volunteer Center administers several hundred swimming passes to low income children during the summer months through a financial gift of the late Marion Mengel. The passes to the Lawrence Community Pool provide a fun and safe way for underprivileged children to spend their time in the summer afternoons.
LITERACY KITS PROJECT
As part of our Education Goal, each year we pull together volunteers and organizations from across the community to assemble literacy kits. Each kit, filled with props, games and activities that make reading interactive, enhance children’s reading experience and provide guidance to parents on how to support their children’s education. Items include a book, a related enrichment activity, a set of alphabet flashcards, a box of crayons, and a pair of scissors. These literacy kits are then distributed to children attending Kindergarten Roundup to help these students feel ready to learn as they enter kindergarten and set them up for success in the future.
NATIONAL DAYS OF SERVICE
Throughout the year, the United Way looks to find ways to give back to the community and work towards meeting our goals of Health, Education, and Financial Stability. Some examples are the Day of Caring, held each September, and the Day of Action in June.
BORN LEARNING TRAILS
As part of the United Way education goal to ensure all children start school ready to succeed, Born Learning Trails have been created in several of our local parks. Each Born Learning Trail captures 10 fun outdoor games on engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children visiting the park. The signs are installed on wooden posts. Stencils are used to draw images on the paved trail that correspond to the activities on the signs. Over time, these trails do need some sprucing up! Cleaning and repainting the trails are wonderful volunteer opportunities for groups. Currently, there are four Born Learning Trails in Douglas County. They are located at Deerfield Park, Douglas County Housing Authority, Eudora Shadow Ridge Park, and Baldwin City Park.
HISTORY OF THE ROER HILL VOLUNTEER CENTER:
Roger Hill, a longtime community volunteer and Plant Manager at Hallmark Cards Inc., along with fellow community members, identified that Douglas County needed a local volunteer center, a place that could identify and channel volunteer resources. In 1990, that dream became a reality. Named in his memory, The United Way of Douglas County now houses the Roger Hill Volunteer Center.
The Roger Hill Volunteer Center has brought about positive change in our community by helping thousands of volunteers find meaningful ways to use their time and talents in over 112 local agencies to make Douglas County a better place to live.
Community members seeking volunteer opportunities can contact our office at (785) 865-5030 or browse our volunteer database for a wide range of opportunities at www.VolunteerDouglasCounty.org.