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 our website and the form below to learn about what we do at Ballard Center, and how your volunteering makes a difference in the community.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ballard Center is in the process of incorporating volunteers back into our building, but we still have many opportunities! 

If you have volunteering questions, please contact us at volunteers@ballardcenter.org

Our Mission: 

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

Our Vision:

Since 1965, Ballard Center has served an important role in our community by offering safety-net support services, which includes emergency services to families to promote stability, and quality early childhood education at an affordable price. These services strengthen families and create lasting change. We believe that the first step in changing lives is to acknowledge that the disparities brought about through poverty exist and strive to address the barriers our children and clients face in finding safety and support.

Ballard Center Volunteer Opportunities

Education Program Teacher Aide (will begin again soon!): 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.

Volunteer 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.  Please sign up for that opportunity by signing up here.

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 Ballard Center mission and objectives.


  • Changing Lives Gala
  • Rev It Up Hot Rod Hullabaloo
  • Adopt-a-Family/Holiday Bureau

For more information, please contact us at volunteers@ballardcenter.org

You can read our Volunteer Handbook here.

Keep up with Ballard Center on Facebook and Instagram.