Five WoodmenLife associates, all wearing matching blue T-shirts, are pictured. They are volunteering at an Omaha school as part of WoodmenLife's work with Partnership 4 Kids.

Get to Know WoodmenLife’s Partner Organization: Partnership 4 Kids

Jun 12, 20246/12/2024

Community

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WoodmenLife is committed to helping in communities across the country. It’s a value that our associates embrace. Each year, WoodmenLife offers associates paid time off to volunteer in the community. Associates have the option to use that time to volunteer with one of WoodmenLife’s eight partner organizations.

Learn more about one of those organizations, Partnership 4 Kids (P4K), as told by the WoodmenLife team leader Angie Hatton.

Professional headshot for Angie Hatton.Tell us a little about Partnership 4 Kids (P4K).

P4K is a not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of mentoring services to students in the Omaha Public Schools system. P4K works with students in elementary through high school levels and provides scholarships and ongoing support for college.

How does P4K align with WoodmenLife and our values?

The organization aligns with our values of service to others and inclusion because it strengthens the hearts and minds of children in our community and helps build their confidence and ability to succeed. Giving time to help a child do well in life makes our whole community better in the long term.

Why is P4K important to you personally?

Every young person needs positive role models. I would not have gotten where I am in life without some of my own growing up. It is important to me to be one of the voices that tells a student, “You can do this.”

What inspired you to start volunteering in your community?

It was part of the way I was raised. My mother started taking me to volunteer activities when I was still in elementary school myself. It’s part of who I am now.

What kind of work do WoodmenLife volunteers do for P4K?

Our team has been focused on fifth-grade classroom mentoring, what P4K calls “Goal Buddies.” We visit with one or two classes each month during the school year and go through a curriculum of activities that P4K has put together for us. Some of the topics we cover include how to set goals, how to learn from failure and what to expect when going to college. The sessions are about 30 minutes long, and the time always goes by fast!

Partnership 4 Kids (P4K) logo

Tell us a little about how you feel after completing a volunteer shift.

I always see or hear something from the kids that makes me smile. They don’t have the same filters that adults have, so I never know what they are going to ask. It keeps me on my toes and reminds me to look at life from different perspectives.

Can you talk a little about the camaraderie among WoodmenLife associates as they volunteer together?

In the classroom, we are usually broken out into small groups with the kids, so it’s not until afterward that we can share how it went. After our volunteer shifts, we have a few minutes to debrief on the way out and discuss the experience. Outside of our volunteer shifts, I also try to get together with the volunteer group at least once per school year and buy them a thank-you meal and listen to how it is going.

Are there any particularly memorable moments from your time working with P4K?

One time, at the end of the semester on the way out, a teacher stepped out into the hallway with us and said, “I want you to know how much your visits mean to the students. You may not see it, but the teachers do, and I want you to know you are making a difference.”

 

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