Twice a week, a super group of volunteers come to work at Harvesters’ Kansas City warehouse.  They shared the many reasons they keep coming back to serve with the organization.

First, they love the people. “We just kind of got connected and got to know the staff,” said volunteer Janette Crites, “They were always really friendly and welcoming and it was always fun to come.”

Her husband of 50 years, Rod Crites, is quite a ham.  “My wife drags me down here and I want to get along with, so I keep coming,” Rod said. All jokes aside, the couple knows their time spent volunteering at Harvesters is needed. “We are a small cog in the big wheel, but we have noticed the pick-up in the amount of stuff that we do.  We just try to keep up with it,” Rod Crites said.

The couple, and other members of their volunteer team, also love the variety of the work they do when volunteering. “Every week it’s like, ‘I wonder what we’re going to be doing today?’ And that’s enjoyable,” said Janette. Whether it’s sorting produce, filling food boxes for seniors, sorting donations, or packing BackSnacks for kids, the group takes a great deal of pride in the work they do.

“We did three pallets today, wow, you know, so we’re proud of ourselves for accomplishing a lot, or we might’ve cleared out a whole area one day, so there’s a feeling of accomplishment,” Janette said.

The team also loves how simple it is to get plugged in. “I think sometimes, there’s a fear of commitment,” said fellow volunteer Bill Hirt. “But you don’t have to commit to come every week like we do. You can come once every few months, then maybe if you like it, you’ll keep coming back.”

The time volunteering also feels deeply purposeful.”I find it incredibly rewarding.  I know I’m doing something good to help other people,” Hirt said.

If you’d like to help, volunteers are always needed in both our Topeka and Kansas City facilities, and within our network of partner agencies.  Sign up for a shift today at