Over $900,000 Volunteer Impact in the Community
- 93% of Volunteers felt that they made an impact on their community
- 95% of volunteers had a rewarding experience
- 96% of volunteers said they would participate in a future United Way event
* Based on responses to follow-up survey
Simply put: You volunteer to connect with others. You volunteer to give back while getting involved in helping to address important issues facing our community. You volunteer to change lives. Meaningful community solutions require more than money or programs or policies. The kind of real and lasting change that benefits everyone is only possible when people from all walks of life LIVE UNITED.
What are the Possibilities
Volunteer experiences at United Way are varied so you will find a great fit for your skills, talents and interests. And the impact you will make is immeasurable because these experiences are aligned with our community investments and the work United Way is already doing in Kansas City. Check out United Way’s Volunteer Portal, where you can find opportunities that fit your schedule, interest, and location!
Poverty Simulation: Empathy Building Experience
The Poverty Simulation is an interactive event allowing participants to experience what life is like for struggling families - the resources they have and the tough decisions they must make each month just to make ends meet. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows poverty to be viewed from a different perspective. Volunteers enact community roles (banker, employer, social worker, et al.), while participants are faced with real life challenges of meeting basic needs with limited resources.
Participant: “As a human services professional, I thought I knew how to help people. The stress level I was under was unbelievable. I hope to better recognize this stress in the people that I serve.”
Volunteer: “I think the Poverty Simulation was very enlightening. It gave real context to the issues people face every day.”
Mad City Money
Volunteers staff interactive booths that simulate mortgage lending, transportation needs, daycare services, and others. High school students visit booths, make decisions about what they can afford and budget in one month of adulthood. Students are challenged to build a monthly budget from a selection of daily wants and needs.
Recipient: “I learned that grades are important, that saving early on helps, and that setting financial goals and sticking to them are important so you don’t go into debt.”
Volunteer: “It was fun and educational. It made me feel like I was contributing to kids’ futures in concrete ways that would stay with them.”
Team Smile: Providing Dental Services to Children
TeamSmile and the Kansas City Chiefs provide a one-day dental clinic and health day for 300 low-income children in our community. All children receive a free dental check-up and any needed dental work from TeamSmile dentists and staff, plus have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun and healthy activities. Volunteers staff activity stations to entertain and educate participating children and to direct children as they move through dental care stations
Recipient: “I truly appreciate all you have done for us and for our students. They received much needed dental work that might not have been obtained otherwise. For this we are forever grateful to you. It warms your heart to see this life changing event take place.”
Volunteer: “My favorite part of this experience was the children. They are so full of energy, enthusiasm, life, ideas. Their circumstances do not define their ability to create, feel, think. I also saw lots of promise in the future dentists.”
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
During tax season, IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
Recipient: “This service is really needed and we appreciate what you do for us, the community.”
Volunteer: “You are a liaison in a way. People are serving you their life story on a platter. It is your job to interpret it. There is crying, sometimes because they owe a lot or are receiving a big refund. I hug at least one client a day.”