Volunteer Work

To read more about Wendi's charitable involvement, go to www.wendirusso.weebly.com.

Building Better Lives for Children

If you are planting for a year, plant grain
If you are planting for a decade, plant trees.
If you are planting for a century, plant people.

-Chinese proverb

One of Wendi's personal goals is to encourage couples, individuals and families to become EVERYDAY HEROES and mentor a child in their community.

Wendi has been a mentor for 10 years and is an alumni of Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been a mentor, speaker and ambassador for Kinship of Greater Minneapolis helping recruit dozens of mentors for their Christian Mentoring program.

Currently, Wendi is a mentor to 12-year old Jenny through ACES, Atheletes Committed to Educating Students, engaging her as an e-mentor and allowing her to shadow her at work to increase her awareness of career possibilities. Most of the students involved in ACES are from Green Central middle school in downtown Minneapolis. To learn more about how you can become an E-mentor, go to www.aces4kids.org.

Temporary holder for the Flash® object

As a mentor through Kinship, Wendi had no idea that a 7-year old would not know how to swim. At the pool, she saw many 3-year olds swimming, however, her mentee Tyiteana was afraid only because she had not had the opportunity to take swimming lessons or to swim often enough to learn. Tyiteana also didn't know what camp was something that Wendi grew up taking for granted. Mentoring has allowed Wendi to be more aware of the obstacles facing these children and why their need for mentors is so great.

If you are interested in learning more about mentoring opportunities in your area, Please visit. www.Mentoringworks.org.

To learn more about Kinship for Kids Mentoring, go to Kinship of Greater Minneapolis.

Additional Volunteer News

Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowling Fundraiser
Wendi's Fundraising Team "Queens for Kids" came in 2nd place for their fundraising efforts! Wendi recruited 5 local Minnesota Queens from various Pageant systems to help raise $2,030 toward supporting new mentoring matches for waiting children.

Make a Wish Foundation

As a Wish Granter, Wendi is able to help make a child's wish come true! She is currently working on the wish of an 8 year old boy in Chanhassen. She has also been a judge and will be the emcee for the MN Talent Fundraiser for Make-a-Wish foundation scheduled for June 2012.

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. For more information about a chapter in your area and to volunteer, go to www.wish.org.

Other Charity Involvement:

Co-Host of In- house TV Show at the Children's Hospital of Minneapolis & St. Paul
Special Olympics Announcer and Award Presenter
Ronald McDonald House special events
Wishes & More Raffle sales
Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant- Judge and Emcee
Kinship Benefit Emcee, Recruiter and Speaker
Pageant of Hope for girls with disabilities
Salvation Army Celebrity Bell Ringing, School supply mentor/shopper
Alex's Lemonade Stand
Minnesota Zoo Fundraiser for the Penguins
Gilette Children's Cancer Research
Eden Prairie Lions' Club Schooner Days
The Dwelling Place for Abused Women & Cornerstone
Pay it Forward for Breast Cancer Celebrity poker dealer
Camp Heartland
St. David's Children's Center
National Association of Music Education (MENC) supporting government funding for music in grade school helping to obtain the second largest number of signatures for their petition in the country.
Lobbyist and spokesperson for International Justice Mission (IJM) to local politicians to support the eradication of child trafficking and slavery through government funding.
Pajama Party co-Host to benefit "Dress for Success".
Co-Host of Diva MN Pajama Party to increase AIDS prevention awareness among women and children in the Twin Cities.
Co-Host for Malaria No More Talent Show Fundraiser with Jason Matheson of Fox News
Eden Prairie Foundation Ball Committee -- Head of Production/Video
Southwest Metro Magazine Board Member
Pay it forward fund for breast cancer celebrity poker dealer