Done In A Day 2007-2008

Leading By Example” was the theme of the 2007-08 year, and the Done In A Day committee worked hard to do just that. Beginning with a careful analysis of many great proposed projects, committee members chose a variety of projects where they felt Junior League would be most effective within the allotted time and budget. Six great projects were chosen and successfully implemented.

The first project took place in November at Big Brothers Big Sisters. This project was named “Bins for Bigs”. The goal was to deliver large bins of games, cards, puzzles and other activities for the “Bigs” involved in the Bigs in Schools program to share with their “Littles.” This program matches hundreds of mentors and students together to meet weekly during school hours. The relationships promote problem-solving skills and increased self-confidence, among many other positive outcomes. In a follow-up conversation with Big Brothers Big Sisters a few months later, they commented, “The games Junior League provided are amazing…they act as connectors for the students and mentors and help open the lines of communication. We really appreciate them.”
In February, DIAD completed their next project at Open Door (formerly United Methodist Urban Ministries). Over 20 volunteers joined the DIAD committee to perform cosmetic renovations in one of seven Transitional Housing Program (THP) homes. THP homes house a needy family working their way out of homelessness. The homes, along with intense case management, help to stabilize the lives and living conditions of families so they can become self-sufficient once again. Volunteers worked from 8 am until 3 pm cleaning, hauling trash, painting the entire interior of the home, installing new curtains and rods, and then contracting with Harry Street Carpet to install new carpet and vinyl flooring. It was a remarkable transformation and ready just in time for a new family to move in.

The following week, the Junior League membership was asked to bring donations of infant and toddler supplies to small group meetings to throw a “Baby Shower” for the Wichita Children’s Home. The DIAD committee delivered the items the following Saturday. According to Sarah Robinson, Executive Director, the WCH houses 20 infants and toddlers at any one time, and many of these donations will be able to be used over and over again. Beth Thummel with the WCH stated, “Your donations nearly filled our storage closets for the infants and toddlers. There were so many wonderful donations!!”
In March, DIAD “Stocked the Pantry” for the local Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Charities. There are two area RMHs which serve families waiting for loved ones to complete care at Wesley Medical Center or Via Christi. The committee began by purchasing toys, books, DVDs, food items, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. They were joined by nearly 15 JLW volunteers at each of the two homes that day to stock and organize the storage spaces and perform the weekend cleaning chores usually completed by the guests. Taking on these chores allowed residents more weekend time at the hospital with their loved one(s). Volunteers also provided a home-cooked meal to the families. Gina Dickinson, DIAD committee chair reported, “As we were baking lasagna for that night’s dinner one of the House guests commented that he hadn’t had such a great smelling homemade meal in weeks.”

DIAD continued their year with a different spin on the next project. We chose Heartspring, a worldwide center for children with special needs, as the next recipient of a DIAD. JLW volunteers hosted a disco-themed dance complete with food, gift boxes and pictures for the more than 40 students.
Finally, to wrap up an extremely busy year, DIAD participated in Kids in the Kitchen. This is a national movement the Junior League has adopted that teaches students to make healthy snacks. The goal is to combat the rising childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. Junior League volunteers spent a short, but fun, afternoon with students, recipes, and the necessary ingredients, for a simple, no-bake meal they can make on their own.
About 25 Robinson Middle School students arrived for an hour of fun and snacks. We made chicken wraps, apple slices with dip, trail mix and ooey gooey rounds. Some students were hesitant to try new foods but one admitted, “The spinach and carrots weren’t so bad after all.” Several other children stopped in to make a snack as well as YMCA staff.

The Done In A Day Committee has worked extremely hard this year to plan and execute community projects that would not only lift and fulfill the spirits of our volunteers, but also provide a lasting impact on Wichita community organizations.

 
DIAD committee members pose with the items collected for the Wichita Children's Home.
Heartspring students enjoy a spring dance hosted by JLW.
JLW members made residents of Ronald McDonald House a meal as part of Stock the Pantry.
Members gather to help "Stock the Pantry" at Ronald McDonald House.
 

Junior League of Wichita

6402 East 12th Street
Wichita, Kansas 67206-1306
Phone: 316.682.7473