Food Drive for St. James Place during Staff Appreciation Week

Give back during Staff Appreciation Week (May 19-22) by participating in the Outreach Committee’s Food Drive for Bishop Sullivan Center’s St. James Place. St. James Place provides basic necessities to people who are unable to do so, and to move those who are able to become self-sufficient; plus a Community Kitchen where hot meals are served 5 nights/week.

Please bring non-perishables, like canned and boxed goods, and pasta, to any of the drop off sites across both campuses, or to the Staff Appreciation Lunch on Wednesday, May 21.

Drop Off Locations – May 19 to 22, 2014

Volker Campus:

Administrative Center Room – Admissions Office
Atterbury Student Success Center – Welcome Center, Room 102
School of Education – 1st floor Student Services
Student Union – Bookstore

Hospital Hill Campus:

School of Medicine – Lobby
Health Sciences Building – First Floor
Dental School – Room 416

During Staff Appreciation Lunch on May 21, 2014:

Quad – 11:30 am – 1 pm

For more information, please contact Sandra at staffcouncil@umkc.edu.

Food Drive Flyer

Valorie Moore-Porter

mooreporter-aprilValorie Moore-Porter, Administrative Associate for Clinical Services & Facilities Management at the School of Dentistry is this month’s Hive Five winner.

Chances are if you work at the School of Dentistry, your introduction to Valorie included the phrase, “…she knows everything.” A Jane of all administrative trades, Valorie has been navigating UMKC systems for eight years, and while she won’t admit she knows everything (smart, woman!) she is the go-to for a sea of questions spanning many departments, faculty, staff and students at the Dental School.

When Valorie gets away from the school, she travels with her family of redheads. Her husband and two kiddos have visited the weirdest and greatest cities the US offers, but her favorite destination so far has been The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Valorie has an English cottage garden inspired yard at her home in Greenwood, and loves to cultivate it, adding flowers every year. When she’s not out among her peonies and roses, Valorie says you can find her at the local garden center. “My favorite time of year is spring when things are beginning to bloom and I can sit back and enjoy the variety of flowers.”

What does Valorie love most about her position at UMKC?  “I enjoy my job because it gives me the opportunity to help others get things taken care of.  I don’t mind listening to someone’s issues whether it be work-related or personal.  I feel it’s necessary for them to let their frustrations out so that we can work together to remedy the problem.”

Her commitment to provide personal and excellent customer service is evident even in her office decoration. Valorie describes her space as “my little oasis outside my home.” She adds, “Everyone will tell you that the décor describes my love for people, flowers, and coffee.”

Congratulations, again to Valorie! Don’t forget to honor your great co-workers by sending a Staff Council High Five today.

Service Lessons: Gillis Center

On February 25, 2014, 3 UMKC staff members attended a “Cottage Pals” outreach project at Gillis Center sponsored by the Outreach Committee.

The evening consisted of interactive reading, and arts and craft projects. The 12 children who participated in the Cottage Pals event was given a choice of 2 books to keep, and a bag full of school supplies, games and fun treats. In addition, the Outreach Committee donated books to the library of the Gillis Center for Children and Families.

The Outreach Committee would like to thank all of those who came out and made this outreach a success. Read the volunteer experiences below and for information about current and future service projects, please contact Sandra Smith at staffcouncil@umkc.edu.

“Spending time with the boys at Gillis Center was really enjoyable. The twelve boys, age 5 to 12, that we did crafts and read with were so energetic and sweet. My favorite part was letting each boy pick two books to keep. They would come up and look at each cover, some of them exclaiming they liked superheroes or pirates, and chose from many books, ranging from The Frog and the Toad are Friends to Treasure Island. After selecting, their name was written inside. They were so excited and many of them started reading right there. We couldn’t have done it without a fantastic staff as well.” Alicen Lundberg, Administrative Assistant, Art & Art History Department

“I arrived early, which gave me an opportunity to assist the children with their homework, and spend some quality time with the boy’s prior to the outreach. This allowed me the ability to connect with them, and not just perform a function or activity, but establish a relationship with them.

“One of them asked me, “Where the others are, and why I was so early?” I told him, I was in a rush to see you, and spend quality time with you!  WOW, He was blown away.  You should have seen his smile.   That one statement opened up the window of trust, encouragement and the opportunity to help him, not only with his homework, but it helped him to see me in a different light.  I was there for him.

“The outreach was controlled [chaos], (spelled excitement, fun, appreciation and wonderment) I loved every bit of it!!  The boys were boys! Teasing and rough housing with each other, and clamoring for my attention.  Each one was unique and special.

“The first book read to the children was The Snow Day, then proceeded by, I Like Myself, and it was a big hit. I could see in their faces, and eyes that the message from the book fed them, and kept their attention.  Like a self-awareness of who they are to themselves, and to accept who they are, and their own special uniqueness and differences.

“I plan on mentoring and volunteering for special projects, and would encourage others, especially men to volunteer and bond with the children of Gillis Center.” Sheila Cheffen, Human Resource Assistant, Human Resources

“The children were so excited to have us, and they loved having their own books to pick out-plus the bookmarks. The teachers helped them put their names in the books. We ended up letting all 12 boys pick 2 and the rest went to the Gillis library. Sheila was able to read 2 books to the children, prior to the arts and crafts portion of the evening, and as she was reading the book, “I like myself”, the boys were so engaged, and it blew me away.

“There was some remaining after the arts and crafts project, which gave Alicen Lundberg the opportunity to read Dumbo to them, and this was a big hit as well.  I truly enjoyed my experience with the children of Gillis Center.” Courtney Lee, Administrative Assistant, School of Education