WF nonprofits in need of volunteers

VITA, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Child Care Partners needed volunteers following COVID-19
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 11:03 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Wichita Falls nonprofits can finally allow volunteers back into their programs, but they say getting those volunteers back through their doors has been a struggle.

Directors from three different nonprofits in Wichita Falls spoke about how the roles volunteers play in their organizations are different. One thing they all agreed on is those who give their time and service are a vital part of what keeps them going.

“We were up to as many as 20 volunteers that would come in from time to time and read and do different things. We had people come in painting with the kids, people coming in playing guitar and all of those things that children may not have the chance to experience,” said Keri Goins, executive director of Child Care Partners.

Now with five centers Child Care Partners serves, the amount of help volunteers can offer to over 200 kids is priceless.

“We know that the more words children hear as their developing, especially between the ages of zero and three when their brain is developing, is the most important time,” said Goins.

For other nonprofits. like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wichita County, they strive to help children gain positive role models. However, they said they have also had a hard time recruiting volunteers.

“A lot of service clubs were not meeting and it was difficult to visit Sheppard Air Force Base and those are good sources for us,” said Dwayne Bivona, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wichita County.

As for VITA, who has a huge hand in helping adults in the Wichita Falls community, they’re in a desperate need for volunteers as well.

“I trained 70 this year. I believe at least 15 have come in less than 10 hours probably, another 15 that have come in less than 25 hours,” said Genevive Anderson, VITA Program Director.

VITA said after training, some volunteers decided they were too afraid to interact with clients.

“If I had all my volunteers in like I have in years past, I could be doing almost twice the business I’ve got right now. I’ve even had to turn them away and that’s just heartbreaking,” said Anderson.

Anderson said with the staff she currently has and as long as they continue to volunteer, her tax season won’t end until June 15.

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