Project Community Connect

Jackie Rohn gets his vision checked at the 2018 Project Community Connect. The 2019 event is set for Nov. 1.

WARRENSBURG — Community, veteran, government and health organizations will fill the University of Central Missouri Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Nov. 1, for the eighth annual Project Community Connect.

Free services, ranging from haircuts to medical tests to health care, will be offered at the event.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No registration is needed and the event is open to anyone.

The 2018 event served 260 people despite being rescheduled due to inclement weather on the original scheduled date.

Attendees should bring vital documents, such as their identification, Social Security cards and birth certificates, if available.

Liz Kostas, event coordinator, said bringing these documents can help expedite the process for getting people connected with the services they need.

Volunteers will be assigned to help guests prioritize services and navigate through the maze of offerings.

Volunteers are asked to sign up online at

Kostas said that as of Monday, Oct. 21, there were about 140 volunteers registered.

She said the event needs roughly double to triple that number of volunteers.

“The reason we need so many is that some people volunteer for the whole day and then other people pick a half a day volunteer position, which is fine,” Kostas said.

She said any community member can volunteer.

A volunteer training is planned for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the UCM Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Kostas said this is not mandatory but is recommended for first-time volunteers.

To register to volunteer, visit

Parking is available at the Multipurpose Building and a shuttle will bus volunteers and guests back and forth.

The American Legion will loan wheelchairs for the event to help people who cannot walk through the center to access needed services.

Services specifically for veterans will be offered, and people will be able to obtain medical tests, such as blood sugar, cholesterol and Hepatitis C, flu vaccinations and receive help to obtain Missouri birth certificates and Food Stamps.

Limited dental services will be available and some vision screening, with vouchers offered for eyeglasses.

Kostas said more than 45 providers will be available at the event.

New this year, she said Johnson County Community health will provide Hepatitis A testings and vaccines.

“There has been a large breakout in the homeless population in general of Hepatitis A,” Kostas said.

Free lunch will be served for volunteers and guests from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and child care will be provided.

Kostas said this is a good time for volunteers to sit down with those they are helping and plan out their afternoons.

“This event is very important to show that Warrensburg and Johnson County as a whole work together well,” she said. “Everyone is coming together to collaborate, to make it easier for people to get the services that they need and to break down the barriers that people do struggle with on a regular basis.”

Managing Editor of Digital Publishing Derek Brizendine can be reached by emailing, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @DerekBrizendine.

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