13:14 PM

Administrative professionals give back to WCTC, Waukesha through community service

Group photo Box of Balloons

A spirit of community service is inherent in the Waukesha County Technical College culture, and for the past six years, WCTC’s administrative professionals’ team has demonstrated that commitment by coming together to participate in a project or activity to benefit a local organization. This effort is spearheaded by the group’s administrative service team, including Dannise Bartlett, Jennifer Thomas, Laura Rocha, Beth Soika, Jodi Wiesneski and Cheryl Huebner.

The sub-team identifies and coordinates the annual service project, and works with the larger group of administrative professionals (more than 50 strong!) to volunteer their time, collect donations and provide support to the specific cause.  

In previous years, team members volunteered to clean and paint houses for Habitat for Humanity, collect items for children living in foster care, sort toys for the Salvation Army’s toy drive, and plant and harvest vegetables with Green Power Garden to benefit Hope Center among other efforts. Additionally, the team has held on-campus barbecues and donated the proceeds to the College’s Armed Forces Student Center, but this year, the funds raised were used to establish a scholarship through the WCTC Foundation – the Administrative Professionals Advised Fund.

Making birthdays special for children

For this summer’s community service project, the group connected with the Waukesha chapter of Box of Balloons -- a nonprofit organization providing birthday celebrations to children in need. The mission of Box of Balloons is to make each birthday happy and every child celebrated.  The local chapter works with social workers from two area elementary schools to identify children in need, and a birthday box is given to the family to be used to celebrate the child’s big day. Each box includes everything a family would need to throw a birthday party for six children -- such as decorations, paper goods, special gift for the birthday child, party favors, cupcakes and more – and it features a theme tailored to the child’s specific interests.

The WCTC administrative professionals’ group had hoped to raise enough money for one “Build-a-Box” birthday box -- but raised enough for four. And then, an anonymous donor from the group matched the initial donation, bringing the total to eight.

The impact of community service

Caroline Wayer, co-founder of the local chapter of Box of Balloons, said because of support from groups like the WCTC administrative professionals, her organization is able to make these celebrations a reality.

“I am so grateful to the WCTC admin team for their donation this summer; they are putting smiles on many kids' faces,” she said.

Bartlett, a member of the service team, said staff have enjoyed giving back to the College and the community, and the group plans to continue their tradition of service for many years to come.

“Our WCTC Administrative Service Team collaborates to choose a community service event every year, and this year, we appreciate the opportunity to help Box of Balloons,” Bartlett said.