PITTSBURG — April is National Volunteer Month. In an effort to recognize the contribution volunteers make to their organizations, several area groups are getting together to sponsor a “Volunteer Roundup” on April 22. The event will be free and open to the public.
“A lot of businesses and organizations that use volunteers don’t always get a chance to recognize their volunteers and show appreciation for them, so this is a chance to say thank you to everyone who volunteers in the southeast Kansas area,” said Judi Hawkins, volunteer coordinator at Avalon Hospice, which is hosting the April 22 event at Homer Cole Community Center.
This will be the first Volunteer Roundup, but Hawkins said if it is successful, organizers hope to make it an annual event. In addition to Avalon Hospice, sponsors of the roundup include Guest Home Estates, the Homer Cole Center, Medicalodges Frontenac, Quaker Hill Skilled Nursing, the SEK Humane Society and the Pittsburg Family Y.
The Volunteer Roundup will go from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, April 22. Attractions will include a chili feed and cook off competition between the sponsors, music, and a photo booth and photo props. Each guest at the event will also receive a ticket for a raffle drawing for prizes provided by the event sponsors. The Volunteer Roundup will be a great opportunity for volunteers to meet and network with other people who do volunteer work, Hawkins said.
Lisa Gorman of Medicalodge of Frontenac said her organization will have a table with chili and brownies at the event.
“What we’re looking for in volunteers is to help with meals on wheels and activities,” Gorman said.
Shelley Gromer, vice president of operations at Guest Home Estates in Pittsburg, similarly said her organization will have a table and will be giving out chili and brownies, adding that they will provide a gift basket to give away in the raffle drawing part of the Volunteer Roundup.
“In this day and age to get volunteers is really hard,” Gromer said, adding that the event will be an opportunity to meet people who volunteer and let them know more about Guest Home Estates, what they do that might be different from some other organizations, and how people interested in volunteering can get involved.
Jasmine Kyle, business and promotions manager for the SEK Humane Society, said her organization will also have a table set up at the Volunteer Roundup. The Humane Society will additionally have an adoptable dog at the event, she said.
Both the animal shelter and the Doggie Bag Resale Shop operated by the SEK Humane Society in Pittsburg rely on volunteers, Kyle said. Donations by members of the public to the Doggie Bag are then resold at the shop at low prices, with proceeds going to support the animal shelter. There are more than two dozen different ways that volunteers can help the Humane Society. For more information, visit www.thesekhumanesociety.com/volunteer.
“Our whole organization is dependent on volunteers,” Kyle said. “I mean, we have our employees, but we wouldn’t be able to function without support from the public.”