The Caring Corner: Wichita Holiday Volunteering
‘Tis the season for giving, so why not give your time? Check out a list of local volunteer opportunities below to get you in the Holiday spirit!
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has long been a favorite volunteer spot for many Wichitans around the holidays. Whether you want to bell ring outside a famous Red Kettle, or help with the Angel Tree campaign, the Salvation Army has an opportunity for you! While the Salvation Army has a long history of involvement around the holidays, the money raised goes to support year-long programs in the community, such as Pathway for Hope, a comprehensive program designed to help families out of poverty and into increased financial and spiritual stability. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Salvation Army, click here.
Every year, Inter-Faith Ministries hosts Operation Holiday, an event that distributes food, clothing, blankets, and gifts to low-income families and individuals. Volunteers are needed to assist with data entry, warehouse setup, distribution, and cleanup. Click here for more information.
Heartspring is a local organization that provides numerous services and therapies to children with special needs. One of those programs, The Heartspring School, is a residential and day school that serves children impacted by developmental disabilities. They cover education, residential living, social and vocational opportunities, as well as medical care. Pedalfest, the Autism Care Walk, and Light Your Heart are three of Heartspring’s largest fundraisers that need volunteer support, but they have many opportunities to fit your skills, interest and schedules. For more information, click here.
The Arc of Sedgwick County
The Arc began serving families with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the greater Wichita area in the 1950’s. They are committed to supporting families by providing educational and social opportunities to enhance their individual potential and are one of over 700 chapters nationwide dedicated to the advocacy and support of these families. The Arc has several upcoming events that volunteers would be interested in, including the Thankful Feast and the 21st Annual Arc’s Lights on St Paul. Individuals interested in volunteering for The Arc can click here for more information.
The Lord's Diner
The Lord’s Diner is an organization devoted to combating hunger in the community. With two locations and 3 mobile food trucks, the Lord’s Diner provides hot meals to those in need 365 days a year and serves an average of 2,500 meals nightly to the Wichita community. Volunteers are always needed for both food prep and serving. To volunteer, call 316-266-4966.
Botanica is a year-long destination spot for locals looking to experience the beauty and cultural artistry that the gardens provide. More than just flowers, Botanica offers several educational programs for children and adults looking to broaden their horticultural horizons. Botanica also hosts Illuminations, which is a light display featuring more than 1 million lights! Volunteers opportunities exist for all ages year long and Botanica offers great benefits for those looking to give their time. For more information, including a volunteer application, click here.
United Methodist Open Door began in 1965 as the United Methodist Urban Ministry of Wichita. Their mission is to provide food, clothing and shelter and to reflect service to the 11 – county area served by their Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Volunteers are essential to their operation. Volunteers can be on a one time or recurring basis depending on what best fits your schedule. To volunteer, contact Tim Stead at 316-267-4201.
The Kansas Humane Society
Our four-legged friends need your holiday love too! The Kansas Humane Society offers several opportunities year-long for dog and cat lovers alike. Orientation and an Animal Handling Training Session is required before any volunteer work can take place, but it is an experience well worth your time. For more information, click here.
Confluence Community Center
The Confluence Community Center, an all-inclusive resource center for the community of Wichita, provides a wide assortment of education, consulting, training and support for the local community. One of their many programs is the Brown Bag Outreach, a volunteer effort to help the homeless in Wichita. Volunteers can bring supplies and help pack and distribute the brown bag lunches on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Donations can also be dropped off on Thursday afternoons from 5 – 7 p.m.
The Caring Corner is an ongoing blog that highlights Wichita’s philanthropic community.