Volunteer For A Cause

Committee Leadership

Chair Kim Songster, Administrator, General & Acute Care Surgery
Co-Chair Maria Tecos, House Officer, General Surgery

Committee Members

Reagan Huber, APP, Transplant Surgery
Quan Ly, MD, Professor of Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Joshua Mammen, MD, Professor & Chief, Surgical Oncology
Ashley McClain, Administrative Business Associate, General Surgery
Kimberly McLaughlin, Administrative Program Coordinator, Department of Surgery
Jessica Shank, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgical Oncology
Jeannie Thomas, Administrative Business Associate, General Surgery


Upcoming Volunteer Events


Past Volunteer Events


November 19, 2022
Turkey and Fixins

Volunteers at Turkey and Fixins Volunteers at Turkey and Fixins Volunteers at Turkey and Fixins


September 30, 2022
Academic Association of Surgical Administrators (AASA) Surgery Gives Event - Halloween

August 15-29, 2022
Goodwill Clothing Donation Contest: Department of Surgery VS Department of Emergency Medicine
3rd Division vs. Division Competition (Part 2)

The Goodwill Blue Bin, overflowing with bags of donated clothes An office cubicle with boxes and bags of donations An office cubicle with boxes and bags of donations

Participation for the second half of the donation contest exceeded expectations!  Not only were surgical divisions cleaning out their closets to compete against each other, the Department of Surgery as a whole went up against the Department of Emergency Medicine. Donations poured in, and the Blue Cage from Goodwill had to be picked up several times before the two weeks were up!  It was a close race, but the Department of Surgery won with 48,610 points, and the Department of Emergency Medicine with 36,610 points.

After the final tally, the Division of Acute Care Surgery took home the traveling trophy!

Totals for the individual surgical divisions:

  Clothing Drive School Drive Total Points
Acute Care Surgery 31,400 0 31,400
General/Bariatric Surgery 9,930 0 9,930
Surgical Administration 2,690 304 2,994
Transplant Surgery 4,590 1,281 5,871


August 6, 2022
Food Storage Days at Henry Doorly Zoo

Volunteers making paper mache displays Volunteers making paper mache displays
Volunteers gathering leafy branches at Henry Doorly Zoo Volunteers smiling for the camera on a hot day at Henry Doorly Zoo


August 1-5, 2022
EPP School Supplies Donation Drive
3rd Division vs. Division Competition (Part 1)
The first half of the next Division vs. Division contest focused on gathering school supplies for the "Banking On School Supplies" donation drive organized by the Emerging Professionals Program, the Nebraska Medicine offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Community and Corporate Relations.  Items were given a point value, and the Division of Transplant Surgery took the lead with a total of 1281 points.

May/June 2022
Successful Food Drive for the Food Bank of the Heartland
2nd Division vs. Division Competition

Surgical Oncology took the trophy for the second time with our Food Drive for the Food Bank of the Heartland!  Overall, our entire department brought in $980 in monetary donations for the Food Bank and brought in over 75 food items to donate.

January 5-19, 2022
Winter Coat/Warm Clothing Drive for Sienna Francis House
1st Division vs. Division Competition

The “Volunteer for a Cause” wellness subcommittee for the Department of Surgery hosted their first Division vs. Division competition with a Winter Coat/Warm Clothing Drive for the Sienna Francis House.  Points were assigned based on the donation item, and division totals were tallied at the end for the coveted traveling trophy.  This was a close competition between the Division of Surgical Oncology and Division of Plastic Surgery.  However, Surgical Oncology walked away with the first win and the traveling trophy.  The true winner, of course, was the community and the individuals we could help through the Sienna Francis house, just in time for the cold winter blast we had in January.  The final tally of points is below:

  • Surgical Oncology – 357 points
  • Plastic Surgery – 345 points
  • General Surgery – 72 points
  • Transplant – 67 points
  • Vascular – 30 points


We will have an occasional Division vs. Division competition annually, so all divisions have a chance to house the traveling trophy for a period of time.

Overall, we collected some miscellaneous clothing items along with:

  • 62 winter coats
  • 55 sweaters
  • 75 winter hats
  • 51 pairs of gloves
  • 22 scarves
  • 156 pairs of socks



November 2021
Nebraska Medicine Social Work Office - "Adopt-a-Family"
The Department of Surgery participated in the Nebraska Medicine Social Work office "Adopt-a-Family" event and raised $940 to help some families out for the holidays.  The generous donations from faculty and staff in the department helped out four different families as follows:

  • Oncology patient, spouse, and two children ages 4 and 7 – They will use it for gifts and food
  • A young man striking out on his own – will use it for food and clothing
  • An elderly gentleman who will use it for groceries
  • A new mom with an 11-day-old baby - will use it for clothing for baby

November 20, 2021
Open Door Mission - "Feeding the Multitudes"
We had a group of 20 volunteers from the Department of Surgery that helped provide a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings to those in need.  We also had a few helping out in the Open Door Mission store as they had a large number of volunteers that day. 

Here are some pictures of some of our faculty/staff volunteering:


October 15, 2021
Academic Association of Surgical Administrators (AASA) Surgery Gives Event
Colleagues in the Department of Surgery got together to assemble “Go Bags” for the homeless as part of the AASA Surgery Gives Event (part of the AASA Annual Virtual Conference held in October).  Tracy Rheault led this effort to collect donations in advance of needed items such as socks, scarves, gloves, toothbrush/toothpaste kits, hand sanitizers, lip balm, deodorant, and other personal care items, along with a few snacks.  We received many generous donations from the College of Dentistry, Nebraska Medicine, and many of our Surgery faculty and staff, that we were able to put together 200 bags.  These were donated to the Open Door Mission to give out as Halloween Trick-or-Treat “Go Bags” to help the homeless.

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