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Volunteer of the Year blends friendship with service

Wichita Presbyterian Manor wouldn’t be the same place without the help and dedication of all the volunteers who share their time and their lives with our staff and residents.

Each year, we celebrate our volunteers and present our Volunteer of the Year award. This year’s winner is Ann Murray, an Independent Living resident who has spent countless hours working to make our home a better community.

“When I started out, they wanted me to straighten the Assisted Living Library,” Ann said.

She gladly went to work, and quickly moved on to other needs in the community. When a visually impaired friend moved into assisted living, Ann asked if she could read to her. That grew into helping her friend - Mary Klein - write and send more than 600 cards each year.

“Her passion was sending anniversary and birthday cards,” Ann said. “We’d get together and I did all the envelopes. She would try to write a message. We did that for a year and a half - that was a lot of fun.”

Over time, as more friends moved from independent living to assisted living, Ann has focused on making the rounds to ensure everyone feels comfortable and connected.

“When I was in Assisted Living, I thought I should go see this person or that person,” Ann said. “When Mary moved to the healthcare unit, I saw all sorts of people I knew. So I started visiting them.”

She tries to visit all of them every day. 

In addition to her work at WPM, she also volunteers at Wesley Medical Center, where she cuddles babies in NICU.

Ann has volunteered for the entire six and half years she’s called WPM home.

“I just love it. I love people and love getting to know them and that’s one of the main reasons I do it,” Ann said. “Some people get their lunches and go home. I moved here because I had eaten by myself for eight years and I was tired of it.”

Ann said she was surprised when she was told that she was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year. But she was happy to accept the award with her grandson.

“There are lots of people who do a lot of things, but I appreciate it very much.”

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