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Reflective Process for Diversity

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Auxiliary Services Staff Members Volunteer at the Child Care Center

Child Care Center

This fall, the Auxiliary Services Business Office made volunteering on campus one of their

diversity goals. So when business office

employee Jerri Sumwalt learned the Child Care Center’s library needed to be re-established, she knew exactly what to do.

Jerri recruited colleagues Tobi Bennett, Joan Doremus, Fran Kateley and Curtis Thaniel to help get the library into working order.  They

coordinated with Child Care Center Director

Harriet Douthirt and decided to come in Saturday, February 16 to work on the project. Harriet knew it wouldn’t be an easy task.

“After moving the library from Lida Lee Tall, there were dozens of unsorted books in boxes,” Harriet said. “It was a real yeoman’s task to get them organized.”

The volunteers sorted through the boxes, scanning the books and removing those that were outdated or inappropriate for the Child Care Center’s age group. Though the group originally intended to spend three hours at the center, they ended up staying for six.

“There were some books on the shelves but a lot of loose ones that weren’t categorized,” volunteer Tobi Bennett said. “We categorized them and put them in alphabetical order while pulling out any that were really worn to make sure there were nice books out for the kids.”

The group will volunteer again April 5 to finish the project, which the volunteers say was a lot of fun.

“It’s been wonderful to do it as a group,” Jerri said. “We not only had our coworkers, but Tobi and I both brought our daughters to come and help out. Harriet brought lunch for us, and we really enjoyed ourselves.” Jerri's husband assisted in the effort as well.

Though enjoyable, the volunteers’ service was an enormous help to the Child Care Center.  “They’ve been beyond generous,” Harriet said. “It was very gracious of them to come in on one of their only days off to help. I’m new to this division, and though I’ve been here 30 years this type of gesture is quite extraordinary in my experience.”

By Pamela K. Martin. Published in "Dollars, Cents & Common Sense: The Administration and Finance Blog."


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