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Be a Top Volunteer

Fun and exciting opportunities that money can’t buy

When Topekans Connor England and Sawab “SJ” Hazim met in 2019, it wasn’t only the beginning of a close friendship, but also of a partnership with a strong vision. In 2020, this vision became reality with the founding of Top Teer. Its mission: To support community service efforts by, one, helping volunteers and organizations make the most of every volunteer experience, and two, helping to build the capacity for service within community organizations.

Top Teer actually evolved from a project that SJ had already started. “SJ had gone really deep into community work and started a series of events called Project Forward,” says Connor, the executive director. Together, they rebranded and made it even stronger.

Top Teer’s plans had to be put on hold in 2020 because of COVID, but in June of 2021, they were off and running. “We went from having no events to running virtually all of the volunteer staff for the biggest music festival in Kansas - the Country Stampede,” he says. “It was a smash hit! We were able to create a volunteer experience that, quite frankly, you don’t see that often anywhere. All of our volunteers had the best seats in the entire festival – right up front.” Some even had the opportunity to bring needed items to artists’ tents.

Adds SJ, the president of Top Teer, “So much has snowballed from that event. We also ended up doing the NHRA Drag Racing Nationals due to how well we handled the Stampede.”

At the race, volunteers were able to hang out with the racers’ families and meet some of the biggest names in drag racing. “It was an opportunity that money couldn’t buy,” says Connor. “In an industry where pay isn’t a factor, how you treat your people is the only currency you have. So, we work tirelessly to find every single way we can treat the volunteers the way we want to be treated.”

Connor and SJ have developed what they call the 4 C’s for volunteer success: Communication, Commitment, Contribution and Celebration. You communicate clearly about what the task is, everybody commits to their part and contributes, then there’s the celebration of a job well done.

Top Teer is in the process of growing and the support of the community will be an important factor in its success. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” says
Connor. “Also, we’re getting ready to go into our first capital campaign in 2022, and we would encourage people to learn more about what we do.”

“We want to raise the bar for volunteerism, because at the end of the day,volunteers are what makes community service happen,” says SJ.

To help support Top Teer’s mission, go to

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