“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”– Martin Luther King Jr.
Service is one of the pillars of Newman University. Year-round, students, staff and faculty are encouraged to donate their time and talents to nonprofit organizations in the Wichita community and beyond.
Newman staff receive employee volunteer hours each year, which can be used within work hours with a supervisor or director’s approval. Many Newman students are required to complete service hours each semester to remain eligible for certain scholarships.
At the Wichita Business Expo Sept. 29, events coordinator Abbi Timmermeyer connected with volunteer manager Noel Miller-Shinkle of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. When Miller-Shinkle heard of Newman’s dedication to service, she was excited to see a potential opportunity with Make-A-Wish and Newman community members.
“I love that Newman’s employees are encouraged to give back to the community,” Miller-Shinkle said. “I think it says a lot about an institution that focuses on how they can benefit their surrounding area.”
The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant wishes to children battling critical illnesses. As part of this process, the organization is in need of wish granters to meet with children and determine their wishes. Wish granters work in teams of two to discover, plan and fulfill a wish by seeking donated goods or services.
“Our wish granters understand these wishes-come-true are powerful, life-changing events that strengthen families and bring communities together,” Miller-Shinkle added.
Newman Academic Affairs Coordinator Melanie Flanagan is a big believer in “volunteering when you can.”
Last year, she combined two of her loves — volunteering and photography — at the Shaker Full of Wishes event to support the Make-A-Wish mission.
“I would encourage others to volunteer with Make-A-Wish because you are making a wonderful difference in the lives of children and their families,” Flanagan said. “An aspect of Make-A-Wish that makes it a great organization is that it provides a child with another form of support that isn’t medical or financial. It is an organization that wants to fulfill things to make that child smile by making that wish come true.”
To learn more about how to get involved with Make-A-Wish or to attend the wish granter training session Saturday, Nov. 12, please email Miller-Shinkle at [email protected].
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