In line with Newman University’s commitment to service, sophomore Nathan Huie recently led two group volunteer opportunities at the Lord’s Diner in Wichita.
The mission of the Lord’s Diner is “to serve a nutritious meal with dignity and respect to anyone who is hungry.” Driving that mission forward is something Huie is committed to being a part of.
Nathan, a business management major and soccer player, started volunteering at the Lord’s Diner four years ago with his grandmother and twin brother, Kenneth. Ever since his first experience, Nathan has consistently volunteered at the Lord’s Diner almost every Sunday.
“I just like helping people,” Nathan said. “That’s definitely a part of me, so that’s what I’ve always done.”
It takes a team
Nathan recognized that there was potential for extra volunteer work at the Lord’s Diner and called upon members of his soccer team to make it happen.
“I noticed that some stuff just doesn’t get done because the staff doesn’t have the manpower,” Nathan explained. “I figured I had access to at least a few guys to help me with that.”
Nathan and his team tackled several jobs during two service sessions in late October and early November. They cleaned refrigerators, windows, the outdoor porch area, power-washed shelves, walls, floors and unloaded food items from trucks among other tasks in the kitchen.
Altogether, members of the team donated 33.5 hours of their time to the Lord’s Diner.
“We did a lot of work over the last two trips to clean stuff that hadn’t been cleaned in a very long time,” he said. “Nelson, the head chef on the weekends there, was very pleased with what we did and was happy we were able to come and help him.”
Laurin Aumueller, a biology major from Austria, is one of Huie’s fellow soccer players who took advantage of the volunteer opportunity. He said he is “extremely grateful” he signed up.
“It shows that there’s still good people out there,” Aumueller said. “There’s a lot of really nice people helping the Lord’s Diner. Everybody’s friendly, everybody’s having fun helping and they’re doing an amazing job at what they do.”
Nathan believes the team’s efforts not only benefit those whom the Lord’s Diner serves, but also shine a light on the issue of homelessness as a whole.
“It builds that awareness and we learned that not everyone is as fortunate as us,” he added. “I had a few foreigners come along with and a few people from other areas of Kansas that haven’t really seen downtown as much. So they also got to experience what that was like and the surrounding area.”
Aumueller said that the ambition and positive attitude he experienced from the fellow volunteers was inspiring to see.
“Nathan and Kenneth are doing such an amazing job,” he said. “They’ve volunteered way more often than those events. They do it with so much joy and it doesn’t take any effort for them. They just do it with kind hearts.”
Aumueller added, “It was just incredible.”