Community Service Board encourages students to give back


Courtesy of Michaela Lecki

A group of volunteers at United Way for Wu’s Big Event.

Michaela Lecki, junior and vice president of marketing for the community service board, said that she has been volunteering from a young age and finds it to be a relaxing break from academics and being a college student.

“You can bring your friends, it can be fun,” Lecki said.  “You’re still doing something to give back to the community.  It’s a good feeling overall to do something that doesn’t benefit yourself.”

The community service board is the largest resource organization on campus.  They find volunteer opportunities within the Wichita areas for students on campus.  Students may need volunteer hours for their resume, a class they are attending or to find something to do in their free time.

Member meetings, which happen every Thursday 3:30 to 5 p.m. and are open to everyone, include playing games, such as a poverty and homelessness simulation, and eating snacks.  They also make members aware of the different issues in the community and how to help.

“I feel like we are a really welcoming group, we allow anyone to come in, you don’t have to be a member … I feel like there are a lot of events that can connect to different people,” Katie Dunlop, president, said.

The organization includes the executive board, made up of a vice president of membership, vice president of marketing and the president.  They also have five different chairs, including a sustainability, food and hunger, health, youth and education and a poverty and homelessness chair. Every chair is responsible for coming up with a service project.

“Whatever an organization needs, we try to provide that to them as best as we can,” Lecki said.  “We can’t really go out, and if they need all these donations we don’t just go to the store and buy them, we try to figure out how to get them low-cost.”

Previous service projects have included tie blankets for the Salvation Army, making dog toys out of t-shirts for the Kansas Humane Society and care packages for churches in the area.  

“It can help [students] get involved in the Wichita community, get out there and see the need that is out in the community.  It’s very educational and you learn a lot of things you didn’t really realize,” Dunlop said.

They also have guest speakers from non-profit organizations in Wichita, and ask them if their agency needs anything such as donations or volunteers.

Lecki’s favorite event is Wu’s Big Event, an annual event that includes 200-300 volunteers, including faculty, students, and people from the community volunteering for a nonprofit for three hours.  Each chair is responsible for creating a series event, and as a previous poverty and homelessness chair, she enjoys volunteering at the Lord’s Diner every other Wednesday to serve food.

“I’m someone who likes to see the impact right in front of me, and it’s just a good feeling that people who need a meal in the community can come in there and you see that you are providing them with something that they need,” Lecki said.

Lecki said that qualities people should have to volunteer is compassion and patience.

“You just have to have a good heart and you just have to be motivated,” Lecki said.  “We want someone who is willing to go out and volunteer in whatever area they feel comfortable.

“It’s important for the community to see that there are students, especially in our generation, that are willing to do something not for themselves … It’s just showing [people that] they are not alone in the community.”

Other series events include Give Back at the GIV Warehouse, Mentoring Mondays, Wichita Clean Streams, and Wednesdays at the Diner.  For more info on Spring 2022 service events, view their calendar on the website.  

Lecki said that next year, they are hoping to have Wu’s Big Event that was canceled this year due to COVID-19, Wu’s mini events that they held for the first time this year and find more nonprofits to collaborate with for more community service events.