The Flint Hills Volunteer Center coordinates more than 780 volunteers in Manhattan and surrounding communities to make a difference and connect volunteers with others in the community.
Volunteer Dori Milldyke has been helping deliver Meals on Wheels for nearly 20 years.
“The clients are all delightful, and for some of them I’m probably the only one they will see today,” she said.
One of those clients is Joaan Parker. Parker said she doesn’t drive, so her son takes her to Walmart for groceries every other week. She said the meals volunteers bring to her allow her to keep living in her home by herself.
“These programs are a lifesaver for me,” Parker said. “I’d have a very hard time if I didn’t have them.”
Flint Hills Volunteer Center Executive Director Lori Bishop has helped connect volunteers like Milldyke with people like Parker for more than 30 years.
“It’s just finding people passionate about helping others,” Bishop said. “To me, that’s what builds a community.”
Volunteer medical transportation driver Joseph Ott said he donates his time for that exact reason.
“Take care of the community you’re in, and it’ll take care of you,” Ott said.
Eve Moore said Ott and other volunteers have helped take care of her since she was diagnosed with cancer and needed someone to take her to doctor’s appointments. Moore said she has come to rely on the people at the volunteer center.
“It never fails,” she said. “They are always, always there.”
The Flint Hills Volunteer Center has three main programs for volunteers. They are the Senior Corps RSVP volunteer program, the Schools of Hope in-school-mentoring program, and the Youth Volunteer Corps program.
Bishop said they are always looking for new volunteers. She said volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make a difference. To find volunteer opportunities, click here.