With the busy holiday season upon us, we are reminded to be generous of spirit. That means the willingness to give both of our time and money!

There are many volunteer demands placed on a busy tourist community/county such as where we live. And the Kane County Events and Volunteer Center is the busy coordinating department central to all the activity!

“We’ve done over 100 projects this year,” said Volunteer Center Events Coordinator Vicki Hooper of the busy county office.

The concept of one department being in charge of and handling the multitude of county events and volunteer activities came about 12 years ago, with Kanab resident Terra Sue Honey, while she was working for the Five County Association of Governments.

Kane County later created its own department to handle the multitude of low-income outreach activities, as well as a one-stop shop for volunteer opportunities and event staffing.

As a resource, the Events and Volunteer Center has been a godsend to the county and Kanab City, for now they can host more and larger events throughout the year. Having something to do in the shoulder season and creating and staffing occasional night and weekend activities have made our county a more attractive, longer stay destination!

Becoming a volunteer has grown in popularity significantly over the past few years. In 2012, there were 12,931 volunteer hours logged through the center, and in 2016 a whopping 31,120 hours logged!

This is Hooper’s fifth year at the helm of the busy four person office located in the county building at 76 N. Main St. in Kanab. She is joined by staff members Lannell Dove, Robyn Lofing and John Jacobs.

But while creating, planning, executing events and coordinating volunteers for non-profit agencies countywide is a big deal, the center is responsible for many other county functions!

The volunteer center assists the Sixth District, Kanab Justice and Kanab Juvenile Courts with opportunities for individuals who have court-ordered community service or needs to report productivity. “We track the hours and do monthly compliance reports for the courts,” said Hooper.

They help Drug Court when participants are sanctioned, providing opportunities for them to get their hours and track those hours (and productivity when needed), and report it to Drug Court biweekly.

The volunteer center assists with the PATH program (when needed). This is the county’s Program for Assisting the Transient and Homeless.

They operate the Kane County Assistance Program and the Vita Tax Program, (free tax preparation for anyone making under $50,000 a year); as well as provide volunteers to pick up and serve lunches to children 18 and under at the city park through the summer months. All four staff members are also Victim Advocates when needed.

That’s a whole lot of duties to be responsible for, and needless to say there’s an even bigger demand on the Events and Volunteer Center during the busy Holiday season!

How does one go about becoming a volunteer? “You come in and grab an application,” explained Hooper. “A background check is done, and once approved, we give you a list of different places that need volunteers,” said Hooper. “Most of the time, the person picks and chooses which one they want. We just make sure it’s through a non-profit.”

If you’d like to volunteer or have questions concerning Sub for Santa or any other Events and and Volunteer Center programs, please contact vhooper@kane.utah.gov or call 644-3696 or 689-0829.