Thursday, May 8, 2014

44th Helping Hands Appreciation Brunch

Yukon PS mascot, a Miller (as in grain)
  • Large program - 685 volunteers collectively in 2013-14
  • Organization model for volunteer management
  • Donations
  • $1.33 million dollars of time donated to Yukon Public Schools ($22.14 @ hour national average for volunteer time)
  • Goal  of programming – Keep the caring, small town atmosphere for a rapidly growing suburban community

Comments Reflecting Yukon’s Community Attitude
As people arrived and chatted
Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

Our volunteers have a passion to put church, school, and community before themselves.

The foundation of our growing, vibrant community is our citizens, who go above and beyond to make the schools their and our students’ home. 

[Bing Dictionary defines home as “the place where someone feels that he or she belongs.”]
Quotes by Christine Sorrels at the brunch


  • Miller Mentors actually mentor singly or in pairs once a week.

    WATCH D.O.G.S. shirt
  • WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) Dads, granddads, and/or other male relatives spend time in the schools being in the halls, being outside, helping teachers, relating to kids, and serving as needed. Their presence and attitudes are the keys.  TOP DOGS coordinate other DOGS.

  • Academic Tutors High school students mentor middle and elementary school students

WATCH DOG S Anecdote
One young dad came to check out his child’s school, saw and talked to the Watch DOGS (and granddads), went back to work to extol the positivity of what he saw, and was given one day a month off work while on the company clock to hang out in the school.

Learn about WATCH DOGS at,

Organization – 1 director, 2 staff, 12 volunteer site coordinators

Along with other duties, Christine Sorrels, director, Helping Hand Volunteer & Miller Mentor Program, and her two assistants, Christal Whitmire and Donna Klukas, administer the volunteer program from one bullpen office. Each of Yukon's twelve schools, including the high school, has a volunteer coordinator, who often has a full-time job. When Yukon PS needs volunteers, Christine contacts the school coordinator, who then contacts volunteers.

This hierarchy--similar to the old-fashioned Sunday School "calling tree"--uses social media, too. Christine, Christal and Donna do interact directly with the volunteers by developing a first-name basis and close relationship with all of them.
Gary Cannon with Sophie, a HALO "mentor"

Donations & Recognition

  • Volunteer Awards
Along with the Yukon Businesses & Alumni, one business—in this case, OFG Financial’s Kyle Ruzicka, picks up the tab for the awards, based upon years of service in increments of five.  Some mentors and volunteers have served 35 years. Mentors and other volunteers come in all ages, sexes and ages. One is even a dog, Sophie!

  • Pin at Graduation
Academic Tutors were a special pin, the only piece of jewelry permitted on their gowns or cowls at graduation. Being an Academic Tutor is truly a distinction.Coming soon a photo of an Academic Tutor pin!

Buffet line
  • Posters Tracking Hours
In another room were framed posters of names of volunteers and hours served for each school. The data was already tracked during the year so this became another way of honoring the volunteers.

  • Fruit
Each year the fruit is donated by means of two women who used to volunteer but now work. They contact friends at grocery stores, get the fruit donated, pick it up, and deliver it to the caterer. The fruit was presented first, a healthy best practice!

Decorations with Purpose

One of Lakeview 's volunteer tables
Rose centerpiece
Dahlia centerpiece

On tables at the brunch were the names of each school so that the staff and volunteers could sit together. Some schools had many tables! Academic Tutors sat together as a unit. One volunteer made all of the flower decorations. 

The YHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble entertained

Volunteering/mentoring tracking posters reflect hours served only through the end of the third nine weeks.

Levels of status
Gold - 500+ hours
Silver - 250+
Bronze - 100+

Academic Tutors' detail: Name, School, Hours Served

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