August 17, 2014

Good Deeds: Volunteering helps woman to understand local, state history

Meredith Mahoney says she gives of her time to several organizations as a way to build skills and “not be bored.”

In May, Meredith Mahoney moved to Wichita.

Her furniture hadn’t even arrived before she began volunteering.

“My husband jokes that I am a do-good-er,” Mahoney said. “But I think that history matters and is important and something every one should engage in.”

She volunteered at the Kansas African American Museum’s youth summer camps. Then she volunteered at Pioneer Bluffs, a historic ranch house and acreage where visitors can learn about a sustainable agrarian lifestyle near Cottonwood Falls. Lately she has been volunteering with back-to-school activities at Coleman Middle School.

“I once heard a speaker talk who said that if you don’t know where you should put your time, find someone doing something exciting and help them,” said Mahoney, 31.

She moved to Wichita from Denver, where she worked on public education programs at the state history museum, History Colorado.

Christyn Breathett, education director at the Kansas African American Museum, said it was a wonderful opportunity to have Mahoney volunteering as the summer camp held programs on Kansas’ role in helping to abolish slavery. During the territorial days of Kansas, it took both whites and blacks working together.

Mahoney said her volunteer efforts have helped her better understand the story of Kansas and Wichita.

“I volunteer to not be bored,” Mahoney said. “I like to stay engaged and active. I want to build skills.”

Know a volunteer?

Good Deeds is a feature recognizing volunteers for their service to the community. Do you know someone doing Good Deeds? E-mail us at volunteers@wichitaeagle.com.

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