Running on volunteer power
By Amanda Ravenstein, 1st Inf. Div. PostMay 1, 2019
From things like helping to serve meals to picking up junk on the side of the road and teaching classes at the Hobby Studio, volunteers are an important part of Fort Riley."Without volunteers, we wouldn't be able to have the events or the programs that we have," said Jane Brookshire, Army Community Service, volunteer outreach coordinator. "Basically, any big event we have here is manned by volunteers."Signing up to be a volunteer is easy, she said. All a person needs to do is contact her by calling 785-239-9974 or 785-239-9435. They can also email ACS at email@example.com.The next step is to sign up through the volunteer management information system. The system is at the Army OneSource website at www.myarmyonesource.com."It's a two-part registration system," Brookshire said. "You have to register through the website. Once you do that, you're actually just registered on Army OneSource. The second step would be that you actually have to go into the volunteer tools in that website and then apply to be a volunteer of where you want to volunteer and then they're going to accept you as a volunteer then you can start entering your volunteer hours into that system."The American Red Cross has many opportunities for volunteers on Fort Riley, said Mitzy DeAguilera, regional program specialist, American Red Cross, Service to the Armed Forces."The first one will be what we call general volunteer, or outreach volunteer," she said. "Those kind of volunteers that go and support family community events, those volunteers actually always provide information on our services and resources, the main thing being our bread and butter the emergency communication message … and then with that goes providing information about the app."Other opportunities include volunteering at Irwin Army Community Hospital through the outreach program and caseworkers with the emergency communication messages."Those are the ones behind the scenes," she said. "So, the people, when they are going to place an emergency communication message, they call the 1-800 number that has been there forever, or they go to our app. And when the emergency has been granted and the service member returns back to deployment or their assignment, we call. We ask how everything went or if they need any thing else from us. So we need volunteers to do that."Theresa Guadagno, center operations supervisor, USO Fort Riley, said volunteering is a good thing for spouses of deployed Soldiers."Volunteerism is a really good way for them to make contact with people, make friends and have some time to just enjoy themselves," she said. "But also find out about community resources (and) have that support that they need while their spouse is deployed. So, I think that's a really good thing."The USO volunteers help with events like the No Dough Dinner and Gift the Gown.For more information on volunteering on Fort Riley or to become a volunteer, contact ACS at 785-239-9435.