Fort Leonard Wood offers several opportunities for individuals, or Families, who are looking to volunteer in the community.

According to Rhonda Hutsell, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator, volunteers are the lifeline of numerous organizations around post. Their contributions keep programs running and events happening, she said.

Hutsell said volunteering offers a "tremendous" opportunity for spouses new to the area to get their foot in the door and meet new, like-minded people.

"Volunteering enables individuals to explore new career fields, maintain current job skills, or learn new ones. It can be a wonderful opportunity to network, make new friends, and connect with people and organizations throughout the community," said Hutsell, who has been working as the AVC coordinator for nearly a decade.

"People volunteer for several different reasons," Hutsell said. Those reasons range from a desire to give back to the community, to a Family looking to fill up some free time with their kids on a Saturday, she added.

In conjunction with the American Red Cross, Hutsell helps manage the 3,667 Fort Leonard Wood volunteers. The organizations also assist volunteers throughout the placement and required background check processes.

Matt Rumph, Armed Services YMCA of Missouri executive director, works with volunteers daily through the ASYMCA. He said every little bit volunteers contribute helps an organization, and the community. He also believes volunteerism helps youth expand their mind about helping others.

"It's not what you get out of it, but what you walk away with," Rumph said.

For the ASYMCA, there is no minimum requirement for the number of hours a volunteer must give. Everything is at the discretion of the volunteer, he said. Even donating an hour each month helps, he added.

Some of the volunteer opportunities on the installation include: General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital; Bruce C. Clarke Library; Fort Leonard Wood Thrift Shop; Public Affairs Office; Child, Youth and School Services; USO and ASYMCA.

For more information about volunteer opportunities in the Fort Leonard Wood community, contact the Fort Leonard Wood American Red Cross at 573.596.0131; ext. 60300 or visit the organization located at Building 470, Room 1130.