A Place Where Volunteers Lead the Way

The Greater Wichita YMCA is a nonprofit and volunteer-led community joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We are Wichita’s leading employer, but we also rely on our incredible volunteers. The Y is a place where you can put your interests and gifts to good use as a volunteer — we’ll work with you to uncover what programs, activities, services would best suit you.

Join Us

Be part of the Greater Wichita YMCA's commitment to our neighbors who need support. Where there’s the Y, there’s a place where all of us belong.

We Need Volunteers In Every Community We Serve, Will You Join Us?

Volunteerism at the Y - What We Believe

Volunteers are essential to fulfilling our promise to strengthen community.

Our members, program participants and neighbors all want the same thing: a safe, connected community where everyone can thrive. Volunteers at the Y make a personal commitment to this vision by welcoming people of all backgrounds and dimensions of diversity, developing relationships with people different than themselves and using an asset-based approach to address community challenges.

The skills, ideas and passion our volunteers have to offer are invaluable.

Volunteers help the Y innovate and evolve to provide relevant responses to our communities’ changing needs. They strengthen our leadership by serving on our boards; they build our capacity by leading our annual and capital campaigns; and they transform lives each day by serving as youth coaches, mentors, class instructors and servant leaders in our Y facilities and out in the community.

To fully engage volunteers, we must create inclusive ways for them to be deeply involved in the work of the Y.

In 1941, Allan Devenney, CEO of the YMCA in Summit, New Jersey, wrote that the role of the YMCA professional is to nurture “the volunteer spirit so that it may reach an ever-widening group in the Association and beyond.” He posed several key questions for YMCA staff to reflect upon (paraphrased below) that remain relevant today:

  • Do we truly understand the interests of those whom we try to serve?
  • Do we honestly respect the individual worth of each of our stakeholders?
  • Do we provide enough leadership opportunities for our stakeholders?
  • Do we share with our volunteers our own hopes, ambitions and frustrations so that they feel they are in this thing with us?
  • Do we let our members take ownership of the projects they choose?
  • Do our staff share a sense of communal responsibility and volunteer spirit?
Why engaging volunteers matters

To impact society in the way we aspire requires the full inclusion and engagement of all people who wish to join us. By strengthening volunteerism Movement-wide, we envision the following outcomes:

  • We transform the way people see themselves in their communities and in the world
  • More people understand who we are and what we do as an organization
  • The Y is differentiated from health and wellness facilities
  • Our Movement grows stronger as more people choose to join us as members, volunteers, and staff
  • Program innovation and agile responsiveness to our changing communities becomes our norm
  • We amplify our impact in communities and deepen our commitment to the nation
Leading a culture of volunteerism

To build a strong foundation for volunteerism to thrive, Y leaders must be willing to drive culture change in the following ways:

  • Understand and celebrate the critical role of volunteerism to fully deliver on our cause of strengthening community
  • Provide volunteers with opportunities to become fully engaged in the work of the Y – not just isolated tasks or roles
  • Shift staff’s mindset from solely serving members to inviting members and the community to serve alongside us
  • Set expectations for every Y staff member to engage volunteers in order to accomplish their goals
What you can do

Here are some simple ways that every Y staff member can help to nurture a stronger volunteer culture:

  • Review your job description and identify functions where volunteers could provide input or support.
  • Ask members and program participants what they find rewarding about their experience, what they care about, and suggest ways they might pursue their passions as a Y volunteer.
  • Learn about Togetherhood®, the Y’s member-led volunteer service program, and encourage leadership to adopt the program at your branch.
  • Discuss – and suggest – new and deeper ways to engage volunteers at your Y. Lean in to commonly-cited barriers such as “it’s too complicated for a volunteer,” “there are too many risks,” or “volunteers aren’t reliable” and work to find solutions.
Am I qualified to volunteer with the YMCA?

Yes! The Greater Wichita YMCA offers a range of opportunities that require different skills. We will help you find one that fits your skills and interests and, if needed we will provide training.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

A minimum age of 16 years is preferred. Exceptions may be made for special events or administrative tasks

Do I have to meet any criteria before I can become a volunteer?

The Greater Wichita YMCA is responsible for protecting the children and other vulnerable people we serve. For this reason, we are required to perform a background check before volunteering in certain roles. Other than that, you don't need any particular skills or background to help the people in your community! Just let us know what you are interested in, and we'll try to match you to a volunteer opportunity that suits your needs.

Will volunteering take a lot of my time?

You can choose how much time you would like to give as a YMCA volunteer. Whether you want to help out occasionally or on an ongoing basis; we will work together to find a role that meets your availability and schedule.

Does volunteering at the YMCA count towards community service hours required by my school?

Yes! By volunteering at the YMCA you will gain volunteer time toward the hours you are required to complete for school. You will also gain valuable experience.

Can I get a letter of reference by volunteering with the YMCA?

By volunteering with the Greater Wichita YMCA, you can request a letter of reference. This letter is a valuable part of employment applications or resumes. In addition to providing you with work experience, volunteering can help position you for a new job within the community.

Do I have to be a YMCA Member to volunteer?

No, you do not need to be a YMCA member to volunteer in a YMCA. Arrangements will be made to grant you access to areas that you will be volunteering.

When can I start?

Once you have submitted your application, it generally takes 3-5 days to for processing. If more than a week has lapsed, please contact Lori Spencer at 316.776.8821. After an interview with a YMCA staff member (Via: face to face or phone), you will be placed in a department and then contacted by a staff member for training, information, and to discuss a schedule.

What if I need to break my commitment to the YMCA or I don’t like my volunteer role?

If you need to break your commitment, please just let the staff know. The Greater Wichita YMCA has many different volunteer roles, so if you are not enjoying what you are doing now, we encourage you to speak with your YMCA employee point-of-contact about other opportunities at the Greater Wichita YMCA.

Who can I contact for more information?

Questions can be directed to Lori Spencer, Volunteerism Director, at 316.776.8821 or email lori.spencer@ymcawichita.org.