As consumerism grows more and more prominent during the holiday season, many residents of McPherson County search for opportunities to give in other ways.
There are many organizations within McPherson County that are in need of volunteered time, money or just a helping hand.
Here are a few ways to give back through the holiday season:
If you like working with children:
CASA: A voice for Children, Inc., recruits individuals from McPherson County and trains volunteers to advocate for children in foster care.
"They get to know everybody involved in the child's life, including case workers, social workers, teacher anyone who touches the child's life including the parents," said Sandra Bradley, executive director at CASA. "These children are just like any other children and they just need someone to love them, so if you're able to love a child, you're able to volunteer for us."
Volunteers can also make recommendations to the judge who appoints advocates to a specific case. They also assist in making sure the child finds a safe and hopefully permanent home.
In McPherson County alone, there are 20 children in need of a volunteer at CASA and volunteers can serve anywhere form one to three children. Not only are there volunteer opportunities at CASA, there are leadership positions as well, such as serving on the board of directors and or as a committee member. For more information, visit CASA's website at http://9thcasa.org or call them at 316-284-6909.
If you like working in health care:
McPherson Hospital has a wide variety of volunteering opportunities from sewing items for the gift shop, working in an office setting, or helping in the emergency lobby. Volunteers work regular hours Monday through Friday. At the hospital, volunteers can become an active member, a non-active member or a life member. Active members serve for 25 hours per year for a $5 membership fee, non-active members pay $10 per year and life members pay a $100 for a one time fee.
"We have close to 100 active volunteers," said Cyril Russell, director of marketing for the hospital. "We rely so heavily on volunteers, they do so many things. Because of what they do, many of the jobs the volunteers do around the hospital we would have to hire someone, so they save us a lot in terms of payroll. The gift shop is another area run by volunteers and they do a lot of work."
The group has a board of directors and hosts monthly meetings.
To become a volunteer at the hospital, call Russell at 620-241-2251 ext. 136 or visit their website at http://mcphersonhospital.org and click on the volunteer link to download an application.
If you like working with animals:
The McPherson Animal Shelter is always looking for volunteers to keep their shelter dogs loved and socialized. Volunteers are able to walk dogs, play with them one on one and exercise them in the animal shelters exercise area. To become a volunteer, go to the McPherson city website and download a form or go into the animal shelter and fill one out there.
"We go over safety issues with walking dogs, if they are under 16, they have to have an adult with them for liability issues," said Sonia Luttig, director of the shelter. Volunteer numbers at the animal shelter come in waves Luttig said, but sometimes they can have a lot depending on the time of year.
"We work fine with out them, but it's always nice to have them because of the socialization with the animals and a lot of the times they adopt a dog," Luttig laughed.
For more information call the shelter at 620-245-2583 or visit their website http://mcpcity.com.
If cats are more your style, you can volunteer to clean at the McPherson County Humane Society. Volunteers must be at least 18-years-old and able to work independently. Minors may volunteer as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Those interested in helping out, but can’t donate time, can purchase items like paper towels, scoopable litter, laundry soap and kitty treats or toys.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you like working with items:
Save ‘N Share in McPherson is strictly run by volunteers along with three managers. As a non profit organization, Save ‘N Share accepts donations for clothing, dishes and much more.
"We have about 100 volunteers but are always looking for more," said Jalayn Stieben, manager of the store.
As a volunteer at Save ‘N Share, there are a number of tasks to choose from.
"We have sorters, we have people at the door to great people, we have mens area where men take care of the electronic and wooden repair items, we have two people that do nothing but sort jeans, we have a husband and wife sort shoes and one person does purses and we have several in the kitchen," Stieben said.
To become a volunteer a Save ‘N Share, talk to a manager of the store and fill out an application of a specific area of work.
"What we've learned about the six years at Save ‘N Shares, we've become a family, we work together but we really care for each other, it's been a great experience for us, it's a pretty neat," Stieben said.
For more information, visit Save ‘N Share on their Facebook page or call them at 620-241-7389.
If you like working with those in need:
At Circles of McPherson County, volunteering opportunities are endless. The program assists those facing poverty and helps get them back on their feet. Volunteers can take part in the program by becoming an Allies.
"Allies are intentional friends who come alongside people who are in poverty and who are in a mentorship role and make sure they stick to their goals and everything in their life is OK," said Chris Carlson, directors of Circles.
Other areas of volunteering include meal preparation on Thursday evenings and child care while adults participate in their weekly classes. Child care consists of helping elementary school children with homework, leading crafts or simply playing with them.
"We also create a database for people who might have different skills, like if someone has car repair needs because someone might not be able to afford it, they would fix it," Carlson said.
Circles runs almost entirely off of volunteer efforts, and those volunteers need to be ready to go before considering new additions to the program.
"Every year, we have an introduction to getting into circles and we have a certain number of volunteers in place before we start the next Getting Ahead class as part of requirements for Circles USA. So if we don't have volunteers then we can't bring anyone new into the program," Carlson said.
To become a volunteer at Circles, go to their Facebook page, website or their office to fill out an application. For more information on how to volunteer at Circles, call the office at 620-241-9011 or visit their website at http://circlesmcpherson.org.