25 Years in the Making
Bob Ewalt - August 2016
Where will it be? What are the guidelines? Who will be involved?
These were just a few of the many questions that founding member Bob Ewalt remembers considering when first establishing the Volunteer Center of Lubbock.
The idea of a volunteer center and a nonprofit management center combined into one facility was unfathomable to some. “Even though the United Way thought it was a good idea and there was enthusiasm,” Bob said, “I’m not sure everyone thought this was something we ought to have.”
With little support and no standard to go off of, many were uncertain as to whether or not the concept of a volunteer center like this would ever be successful. “One of the goals we had was to prove to the agencies that we were able to do what we talked about doing,” Bob said. “There wasn’t a real model for us to look at when we started so that left us with constraints.”
With Marjorie Kastman leading the way, our founding members pressed on. Without the drive and resolution of these determined people, the Volunteer center wouldn’t be what it is today. “They were really key in getting this stuff done,” Bob said.
In March of 1990, the Volunteer Center put roots down at the corner of 23rd and Avenue Q. With only an executive director and one administrative secretary, our founders strove to meet community needs by linking volunteers with services and enhancing volunteerism through workshops and training, much like today. “The idea was that some way or another we would start doing things to generate volunteers and find ways to help volunteers do what volunteers do,” Bob said.
In the past 25 years, we’ve grown and expanded in the community. Serving numerous needs and agencies, the center’s impact can be seen through the many people that champion our impact. From the initial idea of the Volunteer Center to what it has grown into today, we are proud to serve the South Plains community and its incredible people. “We weren’t involved the way you are now in Lubbock,” Bob said. “We never would’ve thought it would be as much as it is now.”