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Volunteers Make a Difference

We Love Our Volunteers

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month and Rainbows would like to thank all the volunteers who share their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs.  Please enjoy the video above as we take a moment to look back and recognize many of this year’s volunteers.

As the Volunteer Coordinator for Rainbows United, I have the privilege of working with some of the most amazing, positive, giving people in the community.  In this role, my days are filled with questions such as “How can I help?”  “What do the children need?” “How can I make a difference?”

I have always held a firm belief that people want to help.  They just don’t always know how.  My job is to create opportunities and experiences that make it possible for others to share the joy found through volunteering.

Young and older, our volunteers come to us in search of answers to their questions of how to help, what the children need, and how to make a difference.  The joy they bring to the children, whether by playing or planting flowers, blowing bubbles, reading, or making soft pillows for a child’s head, are what the children need.

Individually and in large groups, our volunteers come to us and make a difference in the lives of children and families, and they experience the joy found through volunteering. Every Tuesday afternoon, a retired teacher reads one-on-one with Pre-kindergarten children, while a medical student “plays” with toddlers, learning from the children at the same time she’s teaching them social skills.  Two therapy dogs and a therapy cat also visit Rainbows’ children and staff weekly, giving everyone a chance to enjoy some unconditional love from a furry friend.

Corporate volunteers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Cargill, Textron Aviation, Meritrust, Evergy, BMO Bank, and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers (just to list a few) help keep our buildings, parking lots and gardens clean and shiny with fresh paint, new plants and flowers, and mulch, lots and lots of mulch.

A special thank you goes to our military volunteers from McConnell Air Force Base.  These men and women spend quality time with Rainbows children, volunteer at events, and help us move heavy objects with a smile on their faces.

And then there’s the “kids”.  Students from Collegiate High School and Middle School volunteer in Rainbows’ classrooms every Wednesday afternoon during the school year.  The kids have formed relationships with the children and everyone (kids and children) looks forward to their time together.

Volunteers are so important to all of us at Rainbows.  We appreciate you.

By Melani Kliewer, Volunteer Coordinator