by Diane Hentges
On Jan. 21, the nation honored the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.
Communities came together to remember King and the imprint he left on our country and the world. He was a man of faith, peace and of service. One quote attributed to King that resonates with me is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” This is the perfect time to do self-examination and take inventory of your service to others.
Opportunities to serve are nearby. Our youth need strong adult role models who can mentor, tutor, coach and lead. Organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, AYS (Associated Youth Services), Bethel Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Campfire, and YouthBuild are just a few youth-focused organizations that would benefit from the gift of your time. The lonely need a friend. Shepherd’s Center of Kansas City, Kan., has a friendly visitor program that helps meet the need of the lonely, and nursing homes need volunteers to help meet the needs of their residents. The homeless need shelter and the hungry need food. Programs through Catholic Charities, Cross-Lines, Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries, Mt. Carmel, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and EOF recruit volunteers to help serve the homeless and those in need. The sick need comforting. Duchesne Clinic, Turner House Children’s Clinic, Cancer Action, Providence Medical Center, the University of Kansas Hospital, and Riverview Health Service are able to serve the sick with the help of volunteers. As King once said, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” Be great … honor the memory of King through your volunteer service.
This year, United Way of Wyandotte County RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) will collect used eyeglasses. These eyeglasses will be given to the local Lions club for distribution to those in need so that others may see the “dream.” Lions International, the world’s largest service organization collects, sorts, and distributes eyeglasses during vision clinics they set up in underdeveloped countries in the world. You may drop off your used eyeglasses, sun glasses or reading glasses during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays during January.
For information on how you can be great through service check out our website at www.unitedway-wyco.org and click on volunteer.
Diane Hentges is director of the Volunteer Center at the United Way of Wyandotte County.