Current Year Recipients

AMETHYST PLACE

Amethyst Place is a long-term supportive housing program for women and children recovering from substance use, trauma, and poverty. Our Noble Cause is to inspire transformational healing and empower generations of women and children to achieve recovery, reunification, and resilience. Each year, Amethyst Place provides nearly 200 women and children in Kansas City with truly comprehensive, family-centered care to help them overcome the interconnected cycles of poverty, trauma, and substance use to achieve multi-generational impact.

 

BAREFOOT MISSION

Barefoot Mission exists to create sustainable and holistic change in the urban core of Kansas City. We operate out of a Ministry of Presence, believing that true change happens when we live in proximity, know our neighbors, and get creative with solutions to voids within culture. Each initiative that we have taken on, has come as an answer to a ongoing “need” that the neighbors of Kansas City have vocalized. Barefoot Mission desires to meet those needs in a sustainable way that brings true change can be ongoing. We also seek to be holistic in nature—meeting the whole need for the whole person. The heart of our mission is not to operate out of a single “niche” but rather be present to needs and then mobilize the resources of the community to fulfill that need! It is a continual effort of presence, awareness, and engagement!

 

THE GROOMING PROJECT

Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC) is a 501(c)3 organization which utilizes an innovative model to address homelessness and generational poverty through its principal program, The Grooming Project, a certified pet grooming school in Kansas City, Missouri. Our students, single mothers with a history of trauma and homelessness, are given a clear pathway out of poverty through hands-on job training in the high-pay, in-demand trade of pet grooming, along with much needed support services to address their unique histories, circumstances, and needs. Training in pet grooming is supplemented with classes in budgeting and soft skills, case management, and job placement services. The comprehensive nature of The Grooming Project program gives students the skills, experience, and support they need to break the cycle of poverty and change their children’s futures quickly, moving from homelessness to self-sufficiency in under two years.

 

GIRLS ON THE RUN OF GREATER KANSAS CITY

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach social-emotional life skills to girls in 3rd to 8th grade. During the eight-week program, girls participate in lessons that build confidence, teach emotional intelligence and foster positive friendships while they prepare for an end-of-season celebratory 5K event.

 

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF KANSAS CITY

Since 1991, Women Build volunteers from all walks of life have come together to build stronger, safer communities. Our neighborhoods are comprised largely of women and children and they are also the populations most likely to be affected by poor living conditions. Our Women Build events provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities through volunteering to work on-site to build homes, providing funding to help complete the construction of the homes, or recruiting others to volunteer in completing the home projects.

 

KANSAS CITY COMMUNITY GARDENS

Founded in 1989, Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) is Kansas City’s leading resource for home, community, and school gardens. We increase equitable access to healthy food for neighbors across the city by removing financial barriers for those who wish to grow their own food and shape life-long health habits by providing opportunities for children to engage with fresh fruit and vegetables from a young age.

Our work is primarily focused in the urban core, where residents often live in neighborhoods where gas stations outnumber grocery stores. We are the only organization in the city to offer many resources for growing, including rental plots, low-cost plants and seeds, tilling services and free gardening and cooking workshops. KCCG currently supports a city-wide network of 753 school and community garden and orchard sites, nearly 3,000 home gardeners and the Beanstalk Children’s Garden, a unique field trip destination where children discover how and where their food is grown. In 2020, more than 42,000 households enjoyed food harvested from a KCCG-supported garden or orchard.

 

LAUNCHCODE

LaunchCode is a national nonprofit creating economic opportunity through free, accessible tech training and apprenticeship and job placement. Traditionally, digital skills have not been widely accessible to many demographics and populations. LaunchCode is challenging that by creating programs that remove barriers and open doors to high-wage, upwardly-mobile digital careers – especially for communities historically underrepresented in today’s tech industry. By creating classrooms that specifically serve these communities, LaunchCode is not only providing a space for aspiring technologists of all backgrounds and gender identities to learn industry-relevant skills, but also cultivating a pool of diverse talent to fuel local companies.

 

MINDDRIVE

Based in Kansas City, MO, MINDRIVE is a STEM project-based, experiential learning program provided offered to under-supported and at-risk urban youth. The purpose of the program is to expose youth to possibilities and opportunities through technical and vocational skills, team-work, critical thinking, structure, planning, process, success/failure, accomplishment and leadership opportunities in an environment supported by adult volunteer mentors and staff facilitators. What started and continues as an after-school evening and weekend program, has evolved to partnerships with public and charter schools for school-day classes offering credit toward graduation.

 

 

WILDWOOD OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTER

Wildwood Outdoor Education Center believes that learning and growing outdoors matters. Wildwood provides unique, transformative summer camp experiences to children across the Kansas City area. Campers spend a week catching frogs and fish, singing camp songs, swimming, canoeing across the pond, and reading and learning in an immersive, supportive camp setting.  More importantly, campers learn to overcome challenges, gain independence, increase their problem-solving confidence, and build relationships. They achieve measurable outcomes leading to lifelong personal and economic success. Instead of summers spent indoors, Wildwood opens the opportunities of the expansive outside.

 

WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT NETWORK

Women’s Employment Network (WEN) was founded in 1986 to meet the employment needs of low-income women in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. Celebrating 35 years, we continue our commitment to helping women establish, define, or re-define their career direction. WEN is built on the belief that when you give women the support to build a foundation for their futures, potential, and well-being, you also strengthen the foundation for the entire community. WEN combines employment preparation with financial coaching to assist them in preparing to enter or re-enter the workforce, providing an on-ramp to long-term financial stability. Through a proven curriculum and personal and professional workshops, our dynamic, experienced staff guide women on a path to self-discovery that creates self-acceptance, empowerment, and self-confidence.