Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Ballard Center in Lawrence, KS. One of the most important roles as a volunteer is understanding the services we provide. To get started, please review the information to learn about what we do at Ballard Center, and how your volunteering makes a difference in the community.

You can also fill out a volunteer application online!

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ballard Center is not currently allowing volunteers in the building. However, you can volunteer at our bi-weekly Mobile Food Distribution which takes place the second and fourth Tuesday of every month here.

Child Center Volunteer Application
Pantry Volunteer Application

Our Mission: 

Ballard Center partners with families to achieve stability through early childhood education and needs-based services.

Our Vision:

Ensuring that all children, particularly those who come from low-income households, have access to an affordable high-quality early childhood education. We know that children learn better when they are not hungry, worrying about where they are going to stay, or if they are going to have a warm place to sleep. To this end, Ballard provides wrap-around support to families through our food pantry, clothing closets, emergency assistance programs, and other initiatives run through the Ballard Center.

Ballard Center Volunteer Opportunities

Education Program Teacher Aide: Ballard Center provides an early childhood education program for children ages 2-5. Teacher aides assist lead teachers with classroom activities and upkeep.

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Setting up and cleaning up meals
  • Make copies or prepare classroom materials as directed by lead teacher
  • Playground monitoring
  • Organizing and cleaning toys
  • One-on-one and small group student play time
  • Nap time set-up

*To volunteer as a teacher aide, state licensing requires CPR and First Aid certification, TB test, and KBI background check including fingerprinting.

Food and Clothing Pantry: The food and clothing pantry at Ballard Center allows access to free food, clothing, and household goods year-round.

Volunteers Responsibilities

  • Sort donations
  • Hang-up and organize clothing
  • Stock food
  • Light housekeeping

*You can complete your court-ordered community service if you’re referred by Douglas County Court.

Mobile Food Pantry: The mobile food pantry is offered through a partnership with Harvesters held twice a month at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Moving boxes and organizing food that is delivered on pallets
  • Readying location for food distribution
  • Assisting clients with carrying and loading food into cars
  • Tearing down boxes during and after the food distribution
  • Cleaning up after distribution

*Volunteers for mobile food pantry must be able to stand, walk, bend, and lift 20-25lbs.

Seasonal Events: Seasonal events are held annually to support the Ballard Center mission and objectives.


  • Changing Lives Gala
  • Rev It Up Hot Rod Hullabaloo
  • Holiday Bureau
  • Warm Hearts

For more information, please contact Jill Ensley at by phone at 785-842,0729, by email at jill@ballardcenter.org, or visit BallardCenter.org

Keep up with Ballard Center on Facebook and Instagram.