Previous   Next

Where would you encourage people to volunteer?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on April 26, 2006

Browse the archives

Photo of Trace Wilson

“I always used to volunteer for The Salvation Army. It’s fun to volunteer with your friends and know that you’re helping people.”

Photo of Don Martin

“I volunteer at the Lawrence Arts Center and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City.”

Photo of Monica Gonzalez

“I usually volunteer at the library during the summer. They always need a lot of help organizing and cleaning the books.”

Photo of RoxAnne Miller

“The Kansas Land Trust. It’s a conservation organization.”


Linda Aikins 12 years ago

Nursing homes. I've had my eyes opened recently about how lonely they get and how much they love entertainment and stimulation.

Linda Aikins 12 years ago

Multidisciplinary, are you OK now after your run-in with lightening?

neopolss 12 years ago

Where NOT to volunteer:

The self "express" checkout lane.

Perhaps the people who use these lanes don't get it. Typically, if you are not faster than the checker would be, IT'S NOT EXPRESS!!! I swear some people take ten minutes or more to scan a salad and some gum!

I hate them besides that though. It is simply another erosion of customer service. Now we scan, sack, and pay for our own stuff, without any discount mind you, and they save money by having one employee watching over 4+ registers.

So please, do not volunteer to use self checkout - make them earn their money.

enochville 12 years ago

I like the self-checkouts. In fact, I wish they had self-ordering at fast food restaurants.

I am very interested in hearing suggestions for places to volunteer, because my wife and I are looking for a new place. So, keep those suggestions coming.

acg 12 years ago

OWL, it's an organization that helps wild animals that have been injured or are sick. Or baby wild animals that have no parents. They nurse them back to health and then reintroduce them into the wild.

southerngirl 12 years ago

My son wanted money to rent a limo with some friends to go to the 8th grade prom here in Tennessee. My husband and I weren't for it, but it was important to him so we agreed to give him the money if he did 9 hours of volunteer work in the community. He loves animals so I had him do it at the local animal shelter. He is a minor, so they asked that a parent be with him at all times so I did the entire 9 hours with him. Now, I love animals to, but that was the most stinky, dirty, hard work I have done in a long time!!! Kudos to those who work there, it wasn't for me. Cleaning the cat cages was (shudder) AWFUL! Lets just say that my son thinks twice before he asks for money for extras now (Thank goodness!!).

The other day someone mentioned all of the user names that are taken, but you never hear from. I read all of your comments several times a day, but rarely comment. I am sure that there are several of us out there. I look forward to all of your daily banter...thank you all for the (thought provoking) daily entertainment.

YourItalianPrincess 12 years ago

Our little non-profit organization " Love From Lawrence Fund " will need volunteers this September when we host our second annual fundraiser benefit. Last year we hosted a fundraiser to help out all the hurricane stricken areas, and this time we will be hosting in our own city.

We will start planning next month to benefit both " Habitat for Humanity " and " Heartland Medical Group " here in Lawrence. We can always use help with booths and various other areas. Last year we pulled together our first benefit in 5 weeks, so this year we are starting early.

We will be announcing this benefit all over like we did last year and this time we are hoping that we don't get rained out.

monkeywrench1969 12 years ago

HUmane Society

Especially at the end of the semesters. You would be surprised at hte number of animals with collars and tags who are dumped off becasue some one can't have pets at their new apartment.

beatrice 12 years ago

Most are good ideas so far. One more -- Veterans' Hospital. Some of those guys could really use the company, especially the ones who have been there for many years and don't have family who come around, or the staff could use a hand with basic choirs. It is just pathetic how little is spent on veterans' long-term medical care, after they have given so much.

PuraVida 12 years ago

For those of you who are looking to find your place in the world of volunteers, you can visit, and visit an online catalog of hundreds of local volunteer opportunities.

Linda Aikins 12 years ago

I don' t know, MD. When they were talking about Multi, I didn't even think of you. I hope you get back soon.

ms_canada 12 years ago

multi d - you have my vote also. You are just great.

acg 12 years ago

I can't keep up with all of the drama. I, personally, don't think multi is the same person as that hoofy/howard idiot, or using several aliases. You start to recognize the tone to a person's posts after a while, even when they're trying to fake it. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm Howard Beale and I've been fooling you all this whole time. MWAAAHHAAAAAHHAAAA. I'm in desperate need of some sleep.

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

Actually, I think we're all Howard.

It's like the _Bob craze. Howard_wolverine.

lawrencefan 12 years ago

Enochville, there are certainly any number of good organizations and services that would benefit from your willingness to serve as a volunteer. One organization that stands out is Headquarters. It has a great history of serving Lawence, Douglas County and the surrounding area. A 24/7 free call-in service, it is best known as a suicide prevention counseling provider. Volunteeer staff go through extensive training to be equipped and prepared to respond to anonymous calls from those who may be depressed, lonely or desperate. Headquarters also provides a variety of other services including resource information, child and teen support (phone-a-friend) and other means of community assistance. Volunteerism as a rule is low everywhere, and Headquarters is among those locally that is struggling to fill their round the clock shifts. You can learn more at

beatrice 12 years ago

hugs: just read your post from yesterday. Perhaps you are right, and it certainly wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. If so, I apologize to multid. for accusing her/him of having multiple sign in names. It was the sudden apearance of that redmeat link on multiple postings, including multid.'s that made me think this. At any rate, the multiple names and antagonistic approach by the multi-alias howard is like being a hacker, but by someone who has no real hacking skills so they must try to annoy a public message board. Sad, don't ya think?

jayhawktownie 12 years ago

the lawrence humane society has been some of the most enjoyable and rewarding volunteer work i have done...also has the opportunity to be very sad as there is the potential to become very attached to some of the animals

ms_canada 12 years ago

kansas prairie land, I left you a note at the end of yesterdays line. Take a look and give my an answer please. I am concerned about this lack of truth on my part. Please re read my posts of the last few days and tell me where you see untruths. Thanks

moralebooster 12 years ago

I think H and K and Multi are the same person.

Have a nice day everyone!

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

You know, I liked it better when everyone was signed in as everyone else.

Hi_Jinks 12 years ago

That's true, jayhawktownie! I ended up adopting a dog and a cat!

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

JPT, if you'd like to give a buck or two to the homeless and are afraid of them using it for booze or something instead, then take the time to go buy them food and don't give them money. If you offer to go buy them food, instead of giving them money, and they turn you down, go to someone different.

Some homeless people would be grateful for just food, you know. All of them aren't ungrateful alcoholics or drug addicts, no matter what you read here.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

As for where to volunteer, what about going to older people you know, people on fixed incomes that are still living at home and not in nursing homes, and offer to do yard work or run errands for them.

Volunteering at an animal shelter is a good idea, but I don't know that I'd take a child there. What happens on those days they have to dispose of animals? I don't think I'd want a child even seeing that.

You can volunteer at schools, you know. I used to. Most teachers would love to have someone help them make copies, grade papers, etc. Probably best for parents to do this, but anyone can.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup line.

Volunteer at the library.

Volunteer for domestic violence groups.

The possibilities are endless.

kcwarpony 12 years ago

I volunteer my time by keeping the books and doing finances for a small non-profit. It helps American Indian children with school supplies, winter clothing, and a xmas toy drive during the holidays. The office is in Los Angeles so doing the paperwork is about all I can do long distance.
We have a problem with trying to find a way to sincerely thank our volunteers, other than some cheap piece a plastic (ballpoint pen, stuff like that) or some dinner that would drain the bank account. What form of appreciation for your volunteerism touched you the most? I'm looking for ideas for next year :)

curiosos_husband 12 years ago

Mail call.

I like to help people in the neighborhood who have disabilities. And those who have children with disabilites. Sometimes we think, just because they have one or more parents, they have everything handled and don't need any help.Trust me, they can probably use some help, somewhere.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years ago

I would love to volunteer at OWL. THat just sounds very rewarding. When my kids get in school I want to volunteer, right now I would have to hire a sitter

kcwarpony 12 years ago

TOB, We've done the t-shirts and certificates. The t-shirts are for income but free to volunteers. It just doesn't seem like a very sincere way to say... "thank you for putting up with us and loading that 14ft moving truck with box after box after box of school books in the hot Southern California sun, oh, btw here is some food and water, keep going you're doing great"... A couple of those folks we never heard from again!

Welcome to the non-profit world!

And wouldn't you know, that came up while I was out there catching up on things, too.

"Work!? I'm here for vacation!" Oh well...

coolmom 12 years ago

i generally spend anywhere from 600 to 1000 hours during the school year volunteering. as money is cut volunteers do more and more. last year i ran a reading group for 2nd graders who were struggling with reading but didnt qualify for any other help. i did dingerprinting, background check etc to do it but it was fun and worthwhile experience. i also do special olympics which is wonderful. if you have the time it is great for the people you help but i think i have gotten a lot out of it for me.

southerngirl 12 years ago

CrazyKs- We volunteered at a no-kill shelter here in TN. We cleaned the cat cages (shudder), shoveled and hosed down the dog cages, cleaned and filled water and food bowls, put out fresh food and water for the dogs and cats. We also took the dogs that were okayed by the shelter staff for walks at the dog park adjacent to the shelter. Heavy, stinky work. The dog walking was the highlight.

I loved your other ideas and as a former teacher, I would have loved to have someone put up bulletin boards (I HATE those things!) or help set up and help with special projects and make copies, but I'm not sure if any teacher would allow you to grade papers since it's confidential information...or maybe it's just me being too careful so as not to get sued...

paladin 12 years ago

What's dingerprinting, or do I not want to know?

paladin 12 years ago

Oh, I was a Scoutmaster for many years. BSA. I did my share of volunteering and then some. But, it was the experience of a lifetime and I treasure all the memories.

sunflower_sue 12 years ago

RI, Wow! You really put some deep, confusing thought into that answer!

I volunteer at whatever happens to be closest to my heart at the moment. Elementary school, community civic club, neighbors that need favors, person coming in the door behind me, etc... I donate to the AHA, ACS, SA, and MDA. I did a stint as a scout leader and even ran for a public office once...thank goodness I lost by about 30 votes because I really didn't want to do it! When I was a young one, I was a "candy striper." I learned volunteering from my Mom. She used to go to the state hosp. and to nursing homes and visit with and read to people. She still volunteers, even though she has a full plate of her own. She puts me to shame and I have a lot of catching up to do. I hope to live up to her example someday.

mushflorp 12 years ago

everyone grab a fruitcake,go around the new roundabout by clinton lake and volunteer at the wakarusa fest!!!

Liberty 12 years ago

I would encourage people to volunteer at home (practice loving one another as God gave us commandment). That is where Mom needs help and sometimes Dad too, or our grandparents. If we help out one another (Love one another), the rest of the world will see that Christian families stick together and help each other and love one another and depend on each other without taking advantage of each other. That will glorify God and show the world that God is truly living within us.

sunflower_sue 12 years ago

Ouch, The hubby and I just took RI's seven deadly sins test. Seems we thought we were both good people. Guess not. (Although I maintain we are both good...just not without sin.)

Funny thing is that the hubby came out to be somewhat slothful...and he's one of the hardest workin' men I know. The rest of us must be slugs!

horrific_changeling 12 years ago

I took the test, turns out lust is the only sin I have and it's barely on the the chart.I'm a pretty tame person.Guess everyone can't throw many stones at me, since I behave, even if I have an active imagination! LOL.

beatrice 12 years ago

If sun_sue can take the test, so can I. I didn't get past medium on just a couple, and was very low on most. I must not be trying hard enough.

horrific_changeling 12 years ago

I kind of thought the same thing bea ! Are we getting old? :D

Commenting has been disabled for this item.