On the second day of Christmas Santa brought me to…
The Johnson County Christmas Bureau!
I was familiar with the JCCB because when I worked for Sky Zone we did a toy and food drive for them, but I had never actually volunteered for them.
Many people do not connect the word poverty with Johnson County. However, 37,000 people live below the federal poverty line in Johnson County!
Here is a video that describes what the JCCB is all about.
Signing up to volunteer is super easy on their website, www.jccb.org. I signed up for a morning shift of 8:30am-12pm. The store is held out in South Olathe, and when you walk in they very much have set the store up like a department store. There is a clothing section, food section, toys, books, personal hygiene and coats. Every shopper has scheduled an appointment to come in and will be assigned a volunteer who will shop with them. The shopper can pick items from each department. The amount of items they are allowed is based on the amount of people in their family.
The morning I volunteered they were actually over staffed on volunteers, which is a good problem to have! I ended up in the grocery department and helped them stock the food prior to the store opening. I then was in charge of handing out peanut butter, and helping the clients find the type they are looking for. My favorite moment was helping a cute lady find a peanut butter that only had peanuts and sea salt listed as ingredients. After much looking I found it and her face lit up and she gave me a high five and said “Thanks for looking out girl!” As a fellow label reader, I knew the satisfaction of finding one!
All the shoppers were incredibly gracious, and were thanking everyone for being there. I heard several of the shoppers say that they could not wait until they were in a position where they could be on the other side volunteering and donating. The shop is huge and it definitely takes many donations and many volunteers to make it happens. I was one of the few volunteers that was there individually, as many companies signed up together as a group.
I highly encourage everyone to look into potentially volunteering their time with JCCB, and definitely when you walk by a donation bin, please take a moment to drop in some food or a toy that very well could the only toy that a child receives for Christmas. We all can help make a difference and JCCB is a great avenue to do so!