In an effort to support local organizations leveraging volunteers to meet the many needs across Kansas, the Kansas Volunteer Commission is hosting a series of mini-grant competitions during 2015. Any Kansas public or private nonprofit organization, public or private schools, institutions of higher education and government, operating in the state of Kansas are invited to apply!

(Please note that scheduled funding opportunities are pending final funding approval from the Corporation for National and Community Service and are not officially open or offered until the official application is posted and open.)

Kansas Mentors is a statewide mentoring partnership committed to ensuring that every young Kansan has access to a caring and quality mentor.  One in three youth will grow up without the support of a mentor in their lives.  In reflection of that, in 2008, Coach Bill Snyder (Kansas State University) and Coach Tom Osborne (University of Nebraska) initiated the annual Coaches' Challenge, with a goal of rallying new volunteers for mentoring programs.  During the last six years, the popularity of the Coaches' Challenge  has grown with the expansion into additional states and conferences.  In the spirit of the annual Challenge, Kansas Mentors is seeking projects taking place during the Challenge that focus on the recruitment and/or retention of mentors.  Specifically, efforts should focus on:
        1. Outreach efforts to recruit more Kansans to meet the state's shortage of mentors and/or;

        2. Innovative strategies and trainings to retain existing mentors and to ensure young Kansans are receiving high quality mentoring services.

Grant activities should take place during the Coaches' Challenge: August 1, 2015-November 30, 2015.

This is a competitive, reimbursement grant application process.  Organizations that are currently engaged in youth mentoring activities and are registered as an Affiliate Program with Kansas Mentors prior to July 3, 2015 are invited to submit applications. 

Kansas Mentors expects to award up to $10,000 in one-time grants.  Applicants may request up to $1,000 in funding with a minimum request amount of $500.  Match is not a requirement for this grant funding opportunity; however when applicable, non-federal match dollars may be considered during the application peer review process. 

For a complete listing of guidelines, please review the Mini-Grant RFP and Application.  Questions can be directed to
Cheri Faunce, Kansas Mentors Director.

Each year, millions of children and youth around the world work together with schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, volunteer and national service programs, government agencies, faith communities, and other individuals to address the world's most critical issues and change their communities on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD).  GYSD is the only day of service focused on mobilizing and training youth as leaders who identify and address community needs through service and service-learning and educate the public, the media, and policymakers around the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders.  The Kansas Volunteer Commission is looking for volunteer projects taking place during Global Youth Service Day, April 17-19, 2015 that are inspired and led by youth.

Cair Paravel Latin School
Serving Shawnee County
As an extension of our "Lunch Buddies" program at Cair Paravel Latin School (CPLS), students would like to return to Meadows Elementary for an afternoon of "Reading Buddies".  Funds from this grant provide a free book to each student at Meadows Elementary and help CPLS students promote literacy and education for the entire elementary school, and reach beyond the students to touch younger siblings and relatives in the home who will be given the opportunity to read the book on their own.

Central Christian School
Serving Reno County
On April 24th, Central Christian School will host its 4th Annual Serve-A-Thom, a day set aside for students in grades Pre-K to 12 as an opportunity to serve others in Reno County.  An important outcome from our Serve-A-Thon day is for our students to gain an understanding of the value of touching lives and serving others.  Our Serve-A-Thon day includes three rotations that will be held in our school gym.  Students will be making placemats for Meals on Wheels, creating cards for residents in local nursing homes as well as those serving in our military, and packaging meals for children around the worlds through Kids Against Hunger.  Several other off-campus projects will be completed as part of the Serve-A-Thon.

Concordia High School JAG
Serving Cloud County
Grant funds will support the purchase of materials to be donated to the S.O.S. Crisis Services Center located in Emporia, Kansas.  S.O.S. is a non-profit organization that words towards empowering and advocating for those affected by sexual domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.  Several of the students in our JAG program have witnessed or been the victim of domestic violence and abuse in their lives.  Many of our JAG students have shared personal stories of how S.O.S. has directly assisted their families by listening to their needs, assisting in safety planning and much more.  Therefore, this volunteer opportunity will hit home for the at-risk population that we are working with and will help them learn the benefits of serving learning and volunteerism.

Eastern Cowley County Resource Center (ECCRC)
Serving Chautaugua, Cowley & Elk Counties
Each year, ECCRC leads volunteer-driven activities and community service projects.  This year, as part of the annual Health, Safety and Literacy Fair, we are providing safety tips to families surrounding baby car seats and booster seats.  On GYSD, we will be distributing and installing car seats and distributing food packages for families in need.  Certified safety technicians will teach families how to properly install car seats and booster seats.  A team of youth is assisting us in the projects.

Emporia High School JAG
Serving Lyon County
JAG is a research-driven educational program that has been proven to effectively reach the highest poverty high schools students in the most difficult settings across the state of Kansas.  The goal of this year's GYSD event is to help students, who have 5-8 significant barriers to graduation and employment, learn the benefits of service-learning and volunteerism.  Students will aid in the clean-up and renovation of the Cloud County Resource Center and Club 81 in an effort to get the building ready for the community, and provide a safe social environment as well as an adult learning center for employment skills.

HandsOn Kansas State
Serving Pottawatomie & Riley Counties
This year's GYSD even is a co-curricular service-learning event that will mobilize K-State students to address children's literacy, food insecurity and rural community development in Northern Jackson County communities in Kansas.  The collaborative project between Kansas State University and the CommunityCORE Foundation of Soldier, KS will engage college students, school-age youth and community volunteers in a Day of Service to prepare for building renovations, a book children's drive that will benefit four rural Kansas communities, and participate in a community conversation about rural food insecurity.

Olathe Public Schools
Serving Johnson County
Olathe Public Schools engages students, staff and Adopt-A-School partners to implement service-learning projects to support our local and global community outreach efforts.  California Trail Middle School Friends Of Rachel Club collected shoes for Africa.  In many African countries, shoes are one of three items students must own to attend school.  Due to the number collected, students were able to keep many of the most gently used shoes for students in Olathe.  On Saturday, April 18th, Olathe's Global Youth Service Day, middle school leaders will work with Millbrooke Elementary students to distribute shoes to students in need.  Families in extreme economic hardships will be invited to a free "shopping" experience to select tennis shoes, winter shoes or performance shoes.  The teambuilding event will also provide leadership skills taught by partners.  The Olathe Shoe Kindness Give and Get meets the needs of our growing population of students dealing with poverty.

South Hutchinson Elementary Tigers 4-H Club
Serving Reno County
The South Hutchinson Elementary Tigers 4-H Club will work together to landscape the front of South Hutchinson Elementary School.  The 4-H Club will recruit volunteers from the school and the community to help with the project.  The landscaping is much needed after recent construction at the school has left the front of the building unattractive with exposed piping and areas of dirt and dead grass.  This project will give the 4-H members an opportunity to practice the skills they have been learning in 4-H, including project management, community service, and teamwork as well as horticulture, woodworking, art, and environmental science.  The completion of this project will benefit the children, school and community.

Stop Hunger Now
Serving Johnson County
Stop Hunger Now will be engaging the local Rotary International Interact youth club in packaging over 2,500 meals for children and families in need.  The volunteer teams will assemble high-protein meals of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and micronutrient packet.  Interact is made up for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with their community.  youth have fun while carrying out service project and learning about the world.  They organize at least two service projects annually- one to benefit their community- and one to encourage international understanding.  Packing meals with Stop Hunger Now will encourage international understanding by focusing the members' attention on the lives of children around the world, the power of volunteerism, and how we are all interconnected.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City
Serving Johnson & Wyandotte Counties

This year's GYSD event will involve youth ages 11-18 in the Johnson and Wyandotte county areas in three serve events.  One will consist of creating dog toys with peanut butter and fabric for the local no-kill shelter, while listening to one of their members speak about the importance of animal care.  Another project will focus on the education gap that currently exists, and a discussion about how having access to certain resources can improve the likelihood of a student's success.  Finally, youth will host a gender-equality bake sale in an effort to explore the gender-wage gap by baking delicious treats and selling them at different prices based on gender.  Our 21-member Youth Advisory board have assisted in the creation of two of these service projects and are responsible for leading them to completion.

Final Report Form


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"  Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.  The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative.  It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a beloved community.

Boys & Girls Club of Topeka
Serving Shawnee County
The Boys and Girls Club of Topeka Club Members that attend the Indian Creek extension unit will build care packages for Veterans that are served by the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka, KS.  On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day children will decorate and build gift bags that include a handmade thank you card, Kleenex pack, toothbrush, microwave popcorn and bottled water.  Other items may also be included.  During building of bags, staff will provide information to Club Members about veterans and the service they provided and continue to provide to our country as well as information regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. and the impact of volunteerism on our community.  This includes reading Club Members the books: Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood and Martin's Dream.  Club Members will then visit the medical center in the afternoon and deliver the packages to veterans.  Part of their visitation will include a short presentation about the Club and saying "thank you" to each veteran for their service to our country.

Fort Hays State University
Serving Ellis County
As part of our Read4Respect Bullying Prevention Project at Washington Elementary School in Hays, KS, we will celebrate the life of an inspirational leader who made a difference in the lives of many people: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King is an exceptional example of a courageous leader who changed a nation through peaceful actions.  Fort Hays State University (FHSU) students will read books to elementary age students that stimulate discussions about Dr. King's dream of peace, love and justice.  After each story, children will have the opportunity to display and expand their understanding of Dr. King's teachings through age appropriate activities. 

Homestead Affordable Housing, Inc.
Serving Jackson County
MLK- Building a healthy future engages students from USD 336 in planning and building raised bed gardens for senior citizens in a new 32-unit senior affordable housing development to be built in 2015 in Holton, KS.  Students are organizing a team of volunteers that will prepare the work plan, order materials, and build these raised bed gardens.  The gardens provide these senior households the ability to grow fresh vegetables for themselves, providing for healthy diets and exercise, and assisting their limited budgets.

Reno County Communities That Care
Serving Reno County
On January 19th, CTC will host a Youth Summit in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The Youth Summit will develop leadership and life skills, educate and empower youth to engage and volunteer in their communities based on their own personal passions and desires for their communities.  The summit will focus on youth in 6th through 9th grades and will be lead by CTC high school Youth Leadership Organization, CTC staff and adult volunteers.  During the summit youth participants will learn more about their community's needs and opportunities through the "Envision Hutch" experience and will connect their passions with community needs. CTC will then directly connect youth in 6th through 9th grades with local volunteer and engagement opportunities based on their own individual passions and desires.

Rosedale Development Association
Serving Wyandotte County
Reading Inspirational Stories to Empower, or RISE, is a program in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that emphasizes the importance of literacy, history, service and equality.  Volunteers will read stories to elementary and middle school-aged children during the week of January 20, 2015 about Dr. King, the Civil Rights Movement, and racial inequality.  The goal of this project is to engage the residents of Rosedale in serving others through volunteerism and to continue Dr. King's legacy of advocating for equality.

RSVP of Four County
Serving Montgomery County
Teaming up with the Independence Chamber of Commerce Diversity Task Force, RSVP Four County and other community partners will be hosting an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, January 18, 2015.  The event will include an essay contest for middle and high school students, a food drive that will be a competition between Independence schools, Independence Community College and the public.  A free soup lunch will be held just prior to the celebration.  Just as Dr. King brought people together from all walks of life, this celebration will also bring together community members and leaders from various organizations and community groups.  During the celebration, a community member who has demonstrated a lifetime of service will be honored with the "Spirit of Unity" award.

The Volunteer Connection
Serving Saline County
The Volunteer Connection will mobilize community volunteers, including participants in Kansas Wesleyan University's CampuServe program and students from area high schools, to complete projects on Monday, January 19, for two local agencies which address multi-faceted issues, including food insecurity, homelessness, substance abuse, and general life-skill deficiencies.  Projects will include organization of recent donations and preparation of Emergency Aid Food Bank's warehouse for a community-wide "Souper Bowl of Hope" food drive to be launched in January and assisting with cleaning, painting and preparing a recently purchased building for Ashby House, an agency which provides shelter, treatment and recovery and resource exchange services to combat homelessness.

United Way of Douglas County
Serving Douglas County
The United Way of Douglas County AmeriCorps Program and the Lawrence Public Library will be hosting a Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, 2015.  During this day of service, participants will take part in a variety of activities and projects that will benefit Lawrence families.  Volunteers will be able to decorate and assemble Valentine's cards to be given to homebound seniors, make scarves that will be donated to adults and children living in homeless shelters, and attend a workshop focusing on strategies for speaking out against racism and discrimination.  Teens participating in the service day will also be able to participate in a discussion with the Lawrence Community Food Alliance entitled "We are the Solution", giving teens a space to discuss the issues facing the community that matter most to them.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City
Serving Johnson & Wyandotte County
YVC of Greater KC created two projects that raise awareness through creative expression.  The goal of the first project, Activism 102, is to make activism accessible to youth in the Greater Kansas City area.  It focuses on using art and social media to inform the pub  Youth participating in the event viewed a video about activism, and then learned about body image (ie: problems inherent in our culture's perception of body image).  Youth created a series of art pieces to both protest harmful body image and to inform the public about the consequences of it.  Another group of youth participated in the Operation Gratitude event which created paracord bracelets and personal letters of appreciation to send to US service members deployed overseas and to express appreciation of our military members on an individual level.

Final Report Form

2015 Mini-Grant Series

MLK Day of Service
Competition Closed
Awards Announced

Final Report Form

Global Youth Service Day
Competition Closed
Awards Announced
Final Report Form

National Service Family Project
Opportunity Cancelled

Kansas Mentors Recruitment & Retention
Application Guidelines (RFP)
Grant Application
Applications Due:
July 3, 2015

9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance
Release Date:
July 17, 2015
Applications Due:
August 14, 2015

Make a Difference Day
Release Date:
September 1, 2015
Applications Due:
September 30, 2015

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