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Local officials volunteer
Service strengthens Barton County
new deh day of service bailey pic
Bags in hand, Great Bend Police Chief David Bailey is ready to make his Meals on Wheels rounds Tuesday. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 In honor of National Service Recognition day Tuesday, Great Bend City Councilwoman Jolene Biggs, Councilman Andy Erb and Police Chief David Bailey delivered Meals on Wheels to recipients Monday and Tuesday, as well as checking in on them to see how they were doing.

“It’s wonderful to see some of our elected officials step forward to help with this service,” said Linn Hogg, director of RSVP and Volunteers in Action of Central Kansas. “It gives them a chance to see what our volunteers see on a daily basis. It helps them recognize how important national service is on this very local level.”  

Hogg noted given the many social needs facing our communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels – local leaders are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism to help meet local needs. They understand that engaging citizens is a smart strategy to make progress on local challenges.  

“Everyday,” Hogg said, “RSVP Senior Corps volunteers head out, quietly and without fanfare, to improve lives and strengthen communities.”

More than 300 volunteers in Barton County deliver meals, prepare taxes, assist with blood drives, drive people to medical appointments, help with fundraisers, serve on boards, assist at the city and county level and help at schools. There are also countless other volunteer jobs done behind the scenes of every non-profit agency in the area to help keep them up and running.

In the past, city and county officials have recognized the effort put forth by the volunteers in the community, and have publicly thanked them for their service, Hogg said. 

Hogg said that a key partner in their efforts is the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that oversees Senior Corps and other programs that engage millions of Americans in service each year. This agency works hand-in-hand with counties, cities, nonprofits and other local partners to support high-impact national service at more than 50,000 locations across the country. 

She went on to say that national service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions. “Strengthening that spirit is one of RSVP’s goals,” said Hogg. 

“Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen Barton County through service and volunteering,” she said.

Volunteers are always needed and it only takes a few hours out of each month but it does a sometimes unmeasurable amount of good in your community, she said. 

To register as a volunteer, call RSVP/VIA of Central Kansas, 620-792-1614.