“As long as I can remember, I’ve held a soft spot in my heart for individuals with special needs,” said Rainbows’ Volunteer Rob Ralston. Prior to moving to Wichita with Merril Lynch Wealth, Rob was involved with a special ministry at his church in Kansas City. “My experience with this ministry unequivocally changed my life,” he said. “Like many volunteers, I initially thought I was doing just that—volunteering. The reality was vastly different. I found that working with the children and adults in that ministry brought me all the joy and fulfillment that I thought would simply be a one-way street.”

“Currently, I spend an hour a month volunteering in either a classroom or one-on-one with certain students,” said Rob. “The children I work with are amazing kids and make it easy to enjoy the time I spend with them. In short, it’s about the relationships that are built. I begin recognizing faces, remember students’ names and being recognized by the students.”

“The kids that see Mr. Rob every month really enjoy his story times,” said Annabel Bentley, Lead Teacher in Room 6. “He is able to connect with the kids through the stories he reads. They love the questions and interaction he gives them during their time with him.”