The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 21, 2013

Volunteers give day of service to United Way agencies

Twelve-year-old Von Alford, blindfolded with a red bandanna, missed with the first swing, but connected on his second and knocked the ball within feet of outfielders.

Those outfielders, children served by the Association for the Blind, ran to the ball, locating it by its audible beep, while Von made a beeline down the baseline.

After he scored, Von returned to home plate excited about his hit.

“It’s harder than if you could see,” said the boy. “If I was blind, I wouldn’t know what do because I’ve never actually done this before.”

His sister, Kahee Alford, 23, was one of those outfielders. Blind since birth, she’s a seasoned pro at beeper ball. “It’s easy,” she said. “I just run to the bases, and it’s easy.”

Volunteers from U.S. Bank and Empire District Electric Co. treated 28 visually impaired adults and children of the Association for the Blind and their families to a picnic and a few rounds of beeper ball on Friday as part of the United Way’s Day of Action. That is a day devoted to community service by United Way organizations across the U.S., including the local chapter, the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.

Fifteen companies in the Joplin and Pittsburg, Kan., areas provided services to 13 organizations such as the Association for the Blind, Children’s Haven, the Cerebral Palsy Center in Webb City, and the Pittsburg Family YMCA and Community Child Care Learning Center.

“It’s really an amazing thing to witness,” said Logan Stanley, this year’s United Way campaign chairman. “For one day no matter where you live you can see people from all walks of life coming together to help out one another.”

Terry Mills, division manager of U.S. Bank, was one of the bank’s volunteers who helped serve a hot dog lunch during the beeper ball games at Schifferdecker Park. He said U.S. Bank gives its employees a paid day away from the office each year to perform community service, and some of the local bank’s employees picked Friday to help since it was a United Way event.

A paid volunteer day gives hourly workers who depend on their checks to make ends meet an opportunity to volunteer and share in the feeling of contributing to the community, Mills said.

“We’re glad to be out here,” Mills said of the experience.

Fifteen employees of Empire District Electric Co. were involved in the volunteer day. Some went to paint at the Community Clinic and others came to help with the beeper ball picnic, where “the kids won,” said Adam Brockmiller, Empire’s campaign chairman this year.

“We had a great time and lots of fun. It’s always good to give back to the community,” and to work as partners with the United Way and the agencies that derive funds from the campaign.

A team of four volunteers from Southwest Missouri Bank visited Children’s Haven, 701 Picher Ave.

“We’re making build-your-own pizzas because we thought it could be an activity as well as a meal,” said volunteer Tracy Asbell. Her co-workers Kristy Watts, Emily Talken and Peggy Fuller toured the shelter before helping the children and staff make their lunch.

“SMB has been very supportive of United Way, but it also found time this year to be part of our 2,500 hours of community service,” Fuller said. SMB has pledged that its officers and employees will log 2,500 hours of volunteer work this year in observance of the 25-year anniversary since SMB built its Duquesne branch.

“Today will put us over three-quarters of the way to 2,500 hours,” Fuller said.

The Day of Action started early for United Way volunteers. At a 7:30 a.m. ceremony, Doug Engle, general manager of PCS Phosphate in Joplin, announced a donation of $3,000. The company’s donation will pay for a service on the United Way website to match volunteers with assignments. It is called Volunteer Solutions.

“Volunteers are precious assets,” said Bill Aquino, board chairman of the United Way agency. “We are doing everything we can to make sure people who want to give back to the community have the opportunity to do so.”

Volunteer Solutions will be available on the United Way’s website,, beginning Aug. 1.

Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter