Amy Vajgrt started at her employer 30 years ago as a college intern and never left. Why would she, after all? She has found her calling at Friendship Home, which provides temporary shelter, interim housing, and myriad resources for families in crisis. The women and children she is privileged to serve are her heroes; she considers them life’s champions and is honored to now fulfill the role of Assistant Program Director. She’s enjoyed all her roles at Friendship Home; each position afforded a new level of learning and subsequent appreciation for these champions — women leaving abusive situations, often with only their families in tow, determined to do it over and break the cycle for their children — and for the staff who are committed to standing up for them.
We make a life by what we give
Not only does Amy make herself available to shelter staff 24/7, but her entire family lives and breathes the Friendship Home mission. She was already knee-deep in its culture when she and Dan were married 25 years ago; 11-year-old Ryan and 10-year-old Elly have grown up in that same culture of caring, showing understanding and respect for situations different than their own. The family helps out however and whenever they can, collecting supplies and funds and participating in events. Each year, Team Vajgrt commits to collecting big money for Safe Quarters, an annual Friendship Home fundraising drive, and the competitive crew always finishes in the top five. Amy comes by her giving spirit naturally. Her father, who was always one of her biggest supporters as well as an advocate for the women and children Friendship Home serves, played shelter Santa for years, in addition to spreading joy at Gateway Mall and throughout the community. He passed away a year ago, on Amy’s birthday, and holidays are hard without the man who modeled giving for Amy. This time of year, the staff and shelter residents feel the loss, too.
To hear of Amy and her story, one is reminded of the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Jan Cogan, Program Director at Friendship Home, nominated Amy for a Magic Moment because she felt that, in recognition of all that Amy is and does for the staff and the women and children at Friendship Home, this quiet giver and vehement avoider of the spotlight truly deserved to have her own bucket filled. UBT agreed — so Amy Vajgrt, this one’s for you!
Making the most of family time
This awesome family treasures time together. Ryan and Elly are both into sports, so anything sports-related is a biggie. The family loves attending Kansas Jayhawks basketball and Saltdogs baseball games, watching movies, going to dinner, and getting out and about — outings and productions are family faves. With the help of our awesome partners and our generous vendors, UBT set out to make the season shiny and bright.
The Vajgrts will be enjoying a pull-out-the-stops Saltdogs Ultimate Fan Experience courtesy of the Saltdogs, complete with club seats, first pitch opportunity, a meet-and-greet on the field, merchandise, and more. The Courtyard by Marriott threw in a night’s stay for post-game relaxation. The family will also be receiving another total fan experience, this time with the Kansas Jayhawks, with seats purchased by UBT and all the trimmings provided by the Jayhawks. The DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas, is treating the family to a two-night stay, and Scheels threw in some KU gear (not to mention new basketball backpacks for Ryan and Elly) so they can cheer on the team in style; gas cards courtesy of U-Stop and Super C will cover fuel costs. A Tree Rush Adventures Experience package will find the Vajgrts flying high, and tickets to Riverdance at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, paired with dinner donated at the Rodizio Grill and a donated stay at the Graduate Hotel, will have the family stepping out in style. While the Vajgrts are out on their family adventures, great things will be happening on the home front, too — they’re getting an entire bathroom remodel donated by ReBath, and Schaefers is donating a new smart TV!
Of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays for Amy and her fam without giving to her favorite nonprofit, so Eakes Office Equipment donated a new task chair and some much-needed office supplies to keep Friendship Home humming along at top speed.
Amy, on behalf of the Lincoln Community, UBT would like to thank you for your selfless service. We wish you and yours the happiest of holidays.
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