When tragedy strikes, special people react using their passion, time, and talents to help where they can. This is true of Rich Larson, Board President of the Yankton Contact Center. Seeing the need to provide guidance and leadership, Rich stepped up to fill the organization’s Interim Executive Director position in addition to his other volunteer duties.
Rich has played a key role in the Yankton Contact Center’s mission to help those in need within Yankton County. He began as a volunteer who worked within the organization’s emergency food pantry and was soon asked to serve as a Board Member to help execute larger goals. Then, serving as interim director, Rich has been essential in day-to-day management, in efforts - alongside fellow board members - to recruit a new Executive Director, develop a strategic plan, and promote the Yankton Contact Center’s growth, impact, and future success.
Because of his dedication, United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton was honored to present Rich Larson with the December 2022 Volunteer of the Month Award.
According to Yankton Contact Center staff, “Everyone is so thankful for Rich's selfless time working to help ensure that the greater Yankton area continued receiving the help they needed from us.”
“It has been wonderful witnessing Rich’s efforts and contributions,” shares Lauren Hanson, Executive Director at United Way. “His extraordinary leadership on the Yankton Contact Center Board of Directors is appreciated and admired by many.”
We asked Rich to share more about his volunteerism, in his own words.
I have lived here in the Greater Yankton area this time for 4 years. I grew up in Yankton and left for several years and returned 4 years ago.
I began volunteering many years ago in one form or another. For the last 4 years I have been picking up bread for the Yankton Contact Center from Hy-Vee for distribution to families in need. I also volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on the Selection Committee, and at Sacred Heart Church in various capacities.
I volunteer approximately 3-5 hours per week up to 265 days per year.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because I enjoy meeting new people, getting out, working with others in a unified effort and the feeling of being helpful in some way.
My best volunteer experience is volunteering as a football and/or basketball coach for younger men and experiencing their development as a team. Also, working alongside Emily Vanderhule at the Yankton Contact Center in a volunteer capacity.
The advice I would give to those thinking about volunteering in their communities is to get out and find a way to help others. There are many opportunities, and you will feel better. The staff of the Yankton Contact Center has been a blessing to work with.
To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, please visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.