The Wonder Women League — an affinity group of the United Way of Ellis County — has restructured its membership to make it easier for more women to join.
The community service group of about 35 women has a list of projects it would like to complete, co-chairwoman Nancy Jeter told members and prospective members at a luncheon Tuesday at The Venue at Thirsty’s.
The group has completed three projects in its first two years of existence:
• The Born Learning Trail in partnership with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball at Sunrise Park. The 10 stations at the park provide fun learning activities for young children. ABBB staff installed the stations and will maintain the trail.
• A women’s self-defense class, which the group plans to offer again in the future.
• Matthew’s Gift, in honor of Matthew Wellbrock, provides a gift bag of toiletries, snacks, water and other items given to those whose loved ones have to be taken from Hays Medical Center to another hospital for emergency treatment. Matthew's family approached the group about the project, remembering how such a bag given to them was a help when their 3-year-old son was flown to Wichita after an accident.
“They may be big projects, little projects, whatever. But it is such a pleasure to be working with all these ladies. The energy we have in wanting to get things done is wonderful,” co-chairwoman Rhonda Meyerhoff said.
Membership is by pledge, with different levels available now starting at $50 per year.
Member donor levels — named for various gemstones — include the $50 membership and an additional amount. Those donor levels range from $100 to $1,000 and up.
Members can indicate the level of involvement they would prefer as well, including serving on a committee, participating in volunteer activities or just being a donor.
LaVonne Giess has been involved with the United Way for years, and was interested in joining the Wonder Women League since its start. The new membership structure made it affordable for her to join, she told the group Tuesday.
“You need to give at what level you’re comfortable giving,” she said. “But with more we’re able to do more projects. We’ve talked about so many ideas in the last couple of meetings that I’ve been to.
“We just have tons of ideas and would love to be able to support them all."
Some of those ideas include another project with Hays Med in the pediatric ward and a program on cybersecurity for youths.
“We have found out from educators that this is something that’s really, really important,” Meyerhoff said, especially in the area of human trafficking.
The group is also considering working with the Fort Hays State University Student Veterans Association to collect athletic gear for the Hays Recreation Commission.
“We realized that there may be children whose parents can’t afford the athletic equipment that they need to do Hays Rec,” Meyerhoff said.
The group meets every other month on the second Thursday. Anyone interested in joining can contact the United Way at 785-628-8281 or Jeter at 785-628-8283.