KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital recently joined other United Way of Wyandotte County agencies at their annual volunteer recognition event. We came together at the Lake Quivira Country Club in Shawnee, Kansas to celebrate the dedicated volunteers who serve agencies in Wyandotte County. KVC was honored to have the opportunity to celebrate our many volunteers and supporters from the community and honor the 2016 Volunteer of The Year.
KVC was proud to present Taylor Penrod as our selection for Volunteer of the Year. Taylor Penrod has volunteered at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital for three years. Penrod’s work at Prairie Ridge enhances the experience for children and teens receiving psychiatric treatment. She is responsible for organizing one of KVC’s favorite traditions, the Halloween “Trunk or Treat.” Each October, she organizes volunteers from the Overland Park Church of Christ youth group to provide an on-site Halloween experience for youth who are unable to celebrate in their own communities.
The youth group at Overland Park Church of Christ started this tradition in 2007 and when Taylor took over for her predecessor in 2013, she felt it was an important tradition to continue. As she continued the activity, her youth group followed her lead transforming the Trunk or Treat into an interactive experience for our youth clients. Each team decorates their car’s trunk and stays in character while our youth “trunk or treat.” Some of the volunteers create age-appropriate “spooky” experiences while others remain true to their theme and sweetly present goodies or host games. This tradition has become a favorite among the youth as well as our employees and has inspired some of our employees to get involved.
“The ‘Trunk or Treat’ event quickly became a KVC Prairie Ridge favorite which we look forward to each year. We are fortunate to have Taylor Penrod as a volunteer. Her passion to help children is remarkable,” said Karina Holtzman, Development Associate at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital, who is in charge of the volunteer program.
Taylor has also expanded the reach of her volunteer role here at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital as she has organized and planned other interactive groups with the youth. From painting and decorating Christmas ornaments, to taking on Easter crafting projects, Taylor happily brings out her church youth group to participate in these fun activities.