Volunteers have saved Harker Heights more than $6,000 since the fiscal year began last month, according to figures released by the city,

Heights volunteers logged an accumulated 309 service hours during several volunteer initiatives including bagging candy for the Halloween Hoopla, Make a Difference Day, the annual Halloween Hoopla, a coat drive, tree planting and the Veterans Day ceremony.

“We appreciate all that our citizens do by giving their time to various events,” said City Manager Steve Carpenter during a City Council meeting earlier this month.

Heather Cox, activities coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, said every state has a dollar amount they can attribute to the value of their volunteers. That amount is configured on exempt and non-exempt employees and how much they earn. The cost of a volunteer is $22.57 per hour.

Connie Wheeler said she volunteers with her daughter Tiffany Wheeler, a freshman at Harker Heights High School, as often as their schedules allow.

“My daughter needs community service hours for her Exchange Excel Club and for her Transplant for Children’s Program. Since she is deaf and can only speak a few words, it is just easier to volunteer with her,” she said. “This way, she and I also get to spend some mother-daughter time together doing something good for the community.”

Last year, volunteers in Heights logged an accumulated 350 service hours to the tune of $7,689.50.

“Volunteering is important,” Wheeler said. “It is a good opportunity for people to give back to their community and to help improve the parks as well as make the city events a success. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and meeting other people in the community.”

Alissa Martinez said she volunteers as her way to give back to the community.

“There’s not a particular reason on why I volunteer, it’s just something I love to do,” she said. “Volunteering makes me feel like I’m a part of something, whether it’s picking up trash or being a game attendant. Volunteering with Harker Heights Park and Recreation is one of the best things I can do with my time.”

To become a volunteer, call Cox at 254-953-5493.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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