The city of Harker Heights provided residents an opportunity to get involved in their community during a volunteer drive Oct. 4.
Heather Cox, activities coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, manned her station in the foyer of the Stewart C. Meyer Library during the second annual call for volunteers. Fifteen residents signed up on the spot to join the volunteer effort. Cox also provided three students with questionnaires to take home to their parents to complete and return.
Cox said the most important part of becoming a volunteer is filling out the team member packet because it allows city officials to conduct a background check.
“A large number of the events involve young children and this makes sure everyone will have a good time in a safe environment,” Cox said.
“Woodie” Woodward said he volunteers because he likes to help and it saves the community some money.
“My favorite things to do are the Easter Egg Hunt, stuffing bags with candy for Halloween and handing out those bags at the annual Halloween Hoopla,” he said.
Interested individuals signed up to become volunteers, picked up brochures about the events where volunteers are needed and filled out team member packets.
“One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of volunteers is translating the hours they work into the amount of real dollars someone would be paid to do a specific task,” she said.
Cox said every state has a dollar amount they can attribute to the value of volunteers. That amount is configured on exempt and non-exempt employees and how much they earn. The current cost of a volunteer would be about $22 per hour. Using this scenario, the city would save more than $22,000 in labor costs, Cox said.
Last year, the city utilized 88 volunteers at 23 major projects, which translated into more than 350 volunteer hours.
“That doesn’t include the 300 volunteer coaches that log thousands of hours per year,” Cox added.
Rahmindah Martinez said she signed up to volunteer in hopes of showing her 10-year old son the value of doing work simply out of the kindness of his heart. “As a mother and son team, I think our being around people who are into good causes will be a positive bonding experience,” she said.
To learn more about volunteering, call Heather Cox at 254-953-5493 or go to www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/parks.