Elbow Grease and Great Volunteers Give Kids a Chance

“Wow!” That’s MI/IN/KY Associate Director of Strategic Sales Kristen Wiesner-Meehan’s word for Indiana’s volunteer day. Totally motivated to work for a great cause, MI/IN/KY region employees in Indiana put elbow grease into some heavy duty outdoor beautification - building playground equipment and sorting stacks of library books by grade level for the KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory school in Indianapolis, a tuition-free college preparatory charter school for underserved students in 5th through 8th grade.

“Proud to be part of Verizon is an understatement. In spite of the hot, humid day pulling weeds and shoveling, not one person threw in the towel. We had work to do and a little more than three hours to get it done. Our beautification was second to none!” said Kristen.

Three of the hardworking team members replaced shovels with the tools required to unbox and assemble play equipment for the indoor recess room — sparing the kids from having to stare at packaged play equipment their first day of school. Volunteers could almost hear the giggles of playing children with each nut and bolt turned. Readying unprivileged students for college makes literacy a primary focus for KIPP.

Some of the Verizon team headed to the library to level more than 500 books — notating each one for placement in the proper reading level and classroom. Teachers offered big kudos for helping ready books for eager students to read. Kristen continues to heap praise on her fellow V-teamers. “The school is so grateful we were there to help. Thank you for making KIPP a better place for the kids. Thank you for dedicating your time. Thank you for being amazing representatives of Verizon, I am so proud to call you all team members!”

Organizing this event was a collaborative effort of the 14 committee members who decided on which organization they would support, gathered and shared details of the events and rallied the volunteers.

The committee consisted of: Donita Y. Brooks Shana Brummer Jennifer K. Byrd Andre Johnson (Andre’s wife works at KIPP and his passion is what led us to this wonderful school) Victoria King Kristen Wiesner-Meehan Sheila Kritsch Dawn D. May Chris B. Newman Melissa L. Overpeck Nancy N. Snyder Montell Staples Tanisha Caprice Stewart Nancy Wertz And a big thanks to the following volunteers for their time and dedication to this event:

Library: Bormann, Rebecca Marie Brooks, Donita Carter, Christy Dill, Jessica L Haselby, Brian K. Jackson, Deborah D Jones, Erin Leigh Love-Wright, Lauren May, Dawn D Meehan, Kristen C. Novak, Aimee Wims, Nikhel Warren, Micki A. Zimmerman, Thomas

Outdoor Work: Ayres, Brian Bratton, Dawn Byrd, Jennifer K Devettori, Jeffrey Goodan, Stephen Hare, Dustin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Edward Kihlstrom, Cory King, Victoria Kritsch, Sheila Lewis, Patrick (Indiana/Kentucky) Malone, Dara Marriott, Ashley M Mimbela, Arlie Roger Mimbela, Ashley Roy Newman, Chris B Overpeck, Melissa L Preciado, Francisco Javier Ryals, Adam Shaw, Lori Smith, Mark D. Snyder, Nancy Stankiewicz, Jonathon Staples, Montell Stewart, Tanisha Taylor, Damon Thompson, Michael Edward Vanwinkle, Jennifer Marie Wendling, Ted Young, Jennifer VanWinkle, Jennifer

Special Playground Project: Kyle Harms Steve Morris Toby Moore

Photographer: Danielle Everett