Throughout the next few months, will be highlighting our honorees from AFP Wichita's National Philanthropy Day 2019 that took place on November 15, 2019! Thanks to all who were able to join, save the date for next years' event, November 20, 2020!
The Sunderland Foundation: Outstanding Foundation
Kent sits on the board of trustees for a variety of organizations, including the University of Missouri Kansas City, the National World War I Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Symphony and more.
||The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester Sunderland and continues to be led by his family today.
Kent Sunderland — a Kansas City native, a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and Lester’s great grandson — is the foundation’s current chairman.
The foundation’s main areas of interest include higher education, youth-serving agencies, health facilities, museums, civic projects and energy-efficient housing projects.
Haley Crowson: Outstanding New Professional
Where do you currently work?
I currently work at KMUW radio station and the Wichita Old Town Association.
How long have you been there?
I’ve been with KMUW 4 years now, and with the Old Town Association 3. (I think, let me confirm)
What is your education?
BA in English Literature from WSU in 2016. I’m currently working on my Master’s in Communication at WSU.
What do you wish people knew about your nonprofit organization?
I wish people knew that KMUW is so much more than simply a radio station. We host over 50 community events a year and actively strive to engage the community, beyond just the airwaves.
What might change for your organization in the next five years?
I expect that KMUW will continue to grow in terms of staff, reach, and community engagement. I hope we’ll surpass people’s expectations of what a radio station can be.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I love bringing my dog to work with me!
Molly Fox: Outstanding Fundraising Professional
What would you tell someone thinking about making a donation or volunteering for a local nonprofit?
||How did you first get involved working with nonprofits?
I completed my college education and decided I wanted to be a video producer, but not in news. KPTS Public Television was hiring for a Marketing Associate to produce the pledge drives – raising funds. Long story short, that was the start of my official fund development career -- 15 years ago.
If you could change one thing about your nonprofit, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about Goodwill, it would be its perception – and I am working on it! Some rumors have been circulating via email for years that simply aren’t true. Goodwill doesn’t take advantage of employees with disabilities, our CEO is local, governed by a volunteer board and doesn’t make millions. Goodwill helps people gain purpose, pride and dignity though work – and we take a lot of criticism for having a sustainable funding model, which, as a fundraiser, I find mind boggling.
“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace
However you support organizations addressing community issues, do it. Make it person, make it meaningful, and make it count.
If you weren’t working in nonprofit what would you be doing?
I have only ever worked in nonprofits and I love it. But, if I weren’t, I would like be on the giving end for a large local corporation – overseeing public relations/communication. I love learning about how nonprofit organizations are solving community-wide problems. It would exciting to be able to help make those projects reality and highlight my company’s commitment to the community.
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
People would be surprised to know that I didn’t intend to be a development professional. My talents are well suited for marketing and development and my heart is rooted in helping others, so it makes sense, it just wasn’t my plan. Just goes to show that planning and goal setting are important but eventually you have to trust the journey.
Anthony Morrow: Outstanding Volunteer
||How did you first get involved with nonprofit or cause?
After retiring and moving back to Wichita, Sara and I knew we needed to remain active. Our four “pillars” of retirement are family, volunteering, recreation, and travel, with our faith as the foundation. We support several local nonprofits in various ways. I started volunteering at Dear Neighbor Ministries in 2011 as a Representative Payee, managing money received from Social Security for people with various challenges. I spend one afternoon each week managing checking accounts for nine clients. From there, I became involved with StepStone, a separate nonprofit organization sharing a single administrative and governance structure with Dear Neighbor Ministries. I was asked to serve on the Finance Committee in 2012, then asked to join the Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2013. I served in that role until becoming Board Chair in 2017.
What do you wish other people knew about (nonprofit or cause)?
It’s a challenge to explain who we are and all we do, as Dear Neighbor Ministries and StepStone are two separate nonprofit organizations with different missions, although both serve people in need. Dear Neighbor Ministries was founded in 2001 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph to be literally a “dear neighbor” to everyone we meet, with a focus on people living in the Hilltop area of Wichita (near St. Mary’s Convent). Dear Neighbor offers a variety of support services to journey with people towards stability and self-sufficiency. Our latest venture is leasing the Hilltop Community Center from the City of Wichita and using that space to build relationships by hosting events for adults and children, conducting various classes, and providing computer access for schoolwork or skills-building. StepStone was founded in 1995 as a collaborative ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ to respond to the critical needs of survivors of domestic violence by providing support services and transitional housing to nurture lives of stability and hope. StepStone is the only organization in Kansas that provides up to two years of transitional housing to survivors of domestic violence. Our advocates and therapists work with women and their children to help break the cycle of domestic violence. StepStone partnered with Mennonite Housing and Midwest Housing Equity Group on a tax-credit financed project to open a 28-unit apartment complex in 2016. I’d also like for people to know about our volunteers. We have dozens of them who collectively volunteer more than 10,000 hours annually. We rely on our volunteers and we treasure them. We are always looking for additional volunteers to help us expand our outreach.
What is your first memory of (nonprofit or cause)?
Volunteering at Dear Neighbor Ministries and StepStone brings back a lot of memories. I’ve enjoyed visiting with the Sisters, as it’s reminded me of the Sisters who taught me during elementary school and high school. I’m seeking redemption for my behavior as a student. My first memory of Dear Neighbor and StepStone was starting as a volunteer in 2011. Although Sara and I grew up in Wichita, we lived elsewhere during the formation of Dear Neighbor Ministries and StepStone. We learned about these organizations after moving back to Wichita.
When your friends/family find out that yousupport/volunteer, what do they say or ask?
They ask what we do and where we fit among the various nonprofit organizations in Wichita. They’re often surprised by the variety and depth of the services we provide. Dear Neighbor Ministries has a food pantry, a community garden where people can have some space to grow their own produce, and we have limited funds for emergency assistance with rent, utilities, and transportation. Dear Neighbor provides Representative Payee services and is a Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance (VITA) site. We are somewhat like an extended family member to our neighbors as we listen, offer some help during tough times, and rejoice with them in happy times. StepStone works with survivors of domestic violence by offering transitional housing for up to two years. The woman must have or find a job, be able to get utilities in her own name, and pay rent on a sliding scale based on income. We work with each adult and child in our program to give them the support and guidance needed through advocacy, counseling, skills-building, and working on establishing personal boundaries to help them form healthy relationships. StepStone also has an outreach program offering services at no cost to survivors who aren’t in, or have graduated from, our housing.
When you last donated or volunteered, how did that make me feel?
Every time I volunteer or donate, I’m grateful for the many blessings I’ve received. It’s rewarding to work with people to overcome challenges and celebrate successes. They face various challenges, many beyond their control and some from choices they’ve made. Their positive attitudes in the face of adversity are inspiring. They believe that if they can get some help to overcome the obstacle they face, they will return to living an independent and fulfilling life. I’ve received help from many people I can never repay, so it’s good to be able to give something back. I feel privileged to work with the employees and volunteers at Dear Neighbor Ministries and StepStone. They are incredibly talented, dedicated, and compassionate. The staff helps with whatever is needed, regardless of their job description. I’ve worked with some excellent teams, but they are the best.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I was a senior financial executive with the United States Postal Service. I started as a clerk sorting mail in Wichita, then got into the finance function. Sara and I moved to Little Rock, Dallas, St. Louis, and Washington DC for my career. As Manager, Budget & Financial Analysis at USPS Corporate Headquarters in DC, I worked with the Postmaster General, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and others on budget and financial performance issues. It was an incredibly fulfilling career, but we were fortunate to have the opportunity to take an early retirement in 2009 and move back home.
Yolanda and Gene Camarena: Outstanding Philanthropists
How did you first get involved with nonprofit or cause?
Our first significant activities in the community service/non-profit world started when we were college students. We participated in a number of student groups that promoted the positive impact of education on underserved communities. Part of these activities included mentoring and sharing our experiences with other students and with our family members. Yolanda ultimately started her career in higher education working with students while I worked in the business sector and helped fund our early financial contributions in the form of scholarships and leadership programs.
What do you wish other people knew about (nonprofit or cause)?
We all can make an impact on other people’s lives and most of us do without even realizing it. Just a few positive words of encouragement for someone that is struggling with an issue can make a real difference. Many people think that you have to