Projects & Events
Our Elder Care Committee supports our community’s elderly residents in many ways. We have partnered with Ascension Living Via Christi, Homestead, Centennial Towers, Brookdale Senior Living, and Good Samaritan Assisted Living on a variety of activities to enhance the quality of life for seniors. A few projects include: a Valentine’s Day party for Homestead and Brookdale Senior Living, volunteering for Prom Night at Via Christi, and creating seasonal wreaths for residents at Centennial Towers, Homestead, and Brookdale Senior Living. In 2022, the team built raised garden beds for the residents at Via Christi and Good Samaritan; in 2023, our women planned a salsa garden for Good Sam’s and a flower garden for Via Christi. The neighborhood birds are also enjoying donated bird seed in the gardens.
Food and Supplies Drives
At monthly meetings, WWL members select an area organization in need of food, clothing, and/or toiletries to serve our community. With this project, our members have donated to the USD 489 Food and Clothing Pantry, Community Assistance Center, First Call for Help, Humane Society of the High Plains, and the FHSU Tiger Pantry—all making a great impact on our community.
Born Learning Trails
WWL funded and designed the Born Learning Trails in Ellis and Hays, KS. The Born Learning Trail at Creekside Park in Ellis, KS was completed in August 2024. The trail, a series of 10 colorful interactive signs describe fun learning activities along the trail for children with their families and caregivers. WWL members and community volunteers installed the trail through a partnership with the Community Foundation of Ellis and Dr. Paul and Jennifer of the Teget Foundation. The Born Learning Trail at Sunrise Park in Hays, KS was the first project completed by WWL in 2018. Volunteers through the City of Hays, WWL members and Adams Brown Beran Ball installed the trail with ABBB agreeing to provide future trail maintenance. WWL is looking forward to installing a trail in Victoria soon.
Other Notable Contributions
Arc Park Security (2023): Combined with a $5,000 grant from the Heartland Community Foundation, WWL provided $10,000 toward new lighting and security at the Arc Park to prevent future vandalism, provide more hours of play, and increase safety. Other sponsors for this project include the Hays Parks Department, Vyve Broadband, and Stanion Wholesale Electric Company.
Hays Area Children’s Center (2023): $500 provided for a new sanitizing system for the center.
First Call for Help (2021): Contributed $2,500 to the First Housing project.
Mental Health Grocery Initiative (2020): Donated 35 boxes of food.
Light up the Dog Park (2023): Lighting the Hays Dog Park was the number one request to the City of Hays Parks Department in 2023. Local residents expressed a need for the security and safety of having a lit dog park for early mornings and later evenings. Women Who Lead not only lit the park but due to an overwhelming response from the community, were able to expand the initiative to do much more, including a $1,500 donation to Friends of the Dog Park for agility equipment. WWL also spearheaded a food, treat, and toy drive resulting in several thousand dollars worth of donations for the Humane Society of the High Plains and Community Assistance Center.
Shopping Carts for the Community Assistance Center (2023): WWL presented the Community Assistance Center with $1000 to purchase 10 carts to be used by their patrons.
Aunt Flo at Hays High School (2022-2023): $3,125.50 provided for feminine product dispensers with a one-year supply of products in the girls’ restrooms. In January 2024, WWL continued to support the project by granting another $2,755 grant to the school.
Options (2022-2023): In 2022, WWL contributed $3,000 and volunteers to the What Were You Wearing traveling exhibit. In 2023, we granted another $1,000 for a second traveling exhibit, Broken Brides. Each exhibit brings awareness to domestic violence in relationships.
Star Summer Project (2023): $1,500 provided for the kick-off event, including a Sno-Cone truck and prizes for kids participating in the summer event.
Wagons and Wheels (2019): Provided motorized children’s cars and Radio Flyer red wagons to HaysMed, which are used to transport children to and from their surgeries. It helps alleviate the nervousness and anxiety children feel before entering the operating room.
Medicine Dispensers for DSNWK (2023): $750 provided for medicine dispensers placed in single-resident homes; these dispensers allow for safe, timely dispensation of the resident’s medicine, reducing the risk of overdose and missing doses.
Cybersecurity Project (2022): $2,800 provided to provide training to community parents and children about the dangers of the internet. Hosted by Russ Tuttle.
Camber Kids Christmas Project (2023): Women Who Lead provided Christmas gifts for 38 children being served through Camber Kids Mental Health, in Hays. It was an unexpected surprise for the children, many of whom said it was the “Best Christmas ever!” Camber provides psychiatric residential treatment and inpatient mental health treatment for children 6-18 who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal throughs and other mental health conditions.
Reality U (2019-Present): In partnership with the United Way of Ellis County, WWL provides monetary support and volunteers for the annual event, which teaches students in eighth grade the challenges of being an adult.
Women Who Lead have provided on-the-ground volunteers for many events and initiatives in our community, including:
- Food servers at the Wild West Festival
- Staff for Kansas Mission of Mercy
- Nurse Appreciate Day at HaysMed
- Can We Just Talk Project
- Litter clean-up at the Hays ARC Park
WWL members have also served as the official performance ushers at the Fort Hays State University Encore Series since 2022.