Current Year Recipients


Amethyst Place is a long-term supportive housing program that inspires transformational healing and empowers generations of women and children to achieve recovery, reunification, and resilience. Located at 28th and Troost, we serve families from across the KC Metro area. Poverty, substance use, and trauma are often interconnected cycles that pass through generations. For single mothers and their children, additional layers of societal stigma and gender inequity create further barriers for overcoming these cycles. Associated challenges include houselessness, untreated mental health disorders, intimate partner violence, family separation and foster care placement, poor educational attainment, unlivable wages, and legal system involvement. To help mothers upend these cycles for themselves, their children, and future generations, a holistic, long-term, and evidence-based approach is needed to truly heal and empower families. For 22 years, Amethyst Place has been one of the few agencies in Kansas City that provides long-term supportive housing and comprehensive services to help families transform their lives. We do this through our Supportive Housing, Family Empowerment, and Therapeutic Support Programs.


Giving the Basics provides the necessities of life, not covered by government assistance programs, that most people take for granted such as laundry soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and other personal care hygiene items. As Kansas City’s hygiene hub, Giving the Basics assures that adults and children in the metro area have access to what they need to be clean and live with improved health, hope and dignity.





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




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.



InterUrban ArtHouse empowers under-resourced artists to thrive, enriching the lives and communities of the KC metro through the arts across media. We do this through our space, our programs, our social justice mission, and Creative Placemaking.







Kansas City Ballet is the flagship dance company in the five-state region. The Ballet’s vision is outstanding dance experiences accessible to all. The mission is to inspire and engage through the beauty, power, and passion of dance. More than 60,000 people experience outstanding dance through performances by our professional dancers, training in our school and community that engage and educate. 



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.



Founded in 1894, Mattie Rhodes Center (MRC) empowers, advocates for, and connects the diverse communities, families, and individuals we serve in Greater Kansas City. Most of MRC’s participants are Spanish-speaking immigrants living in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast and Westside, two neighborhoods that experience multiple social risk factors, including violence, poverty, low educational attainment, unemployment, and homelessness. MRC programming addresses these social determinants of health by providing needed services to build social cohesion, promote economic stability, and develop access to education, healthcare, and affordable housing. The agency serves over 15,000 participants each year in the areas of community behavioral health, youth development, emergency assistance, community economic development, and cultural arts.


MINDDRIVE is a project-based experiential learning program that serves students from around the Kansas City Metro. We teach problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration through math, science, technology, innovation and communication, giving our students deep-level experience with real world applications. MINDDRIVE offers project-based, experiential learning for under-resourced, urban teens in Kansas City. The communities we serve are disproportionately impacted by lack of access to quality STEM programming and MINDDRIVE provides the necessary engagement that helps students meet their full potential through evidence-based practices, closing the achievement gap between vulnerable kids and their more advantaged peers. 




The Northeast Community Center (NECC) serves the growth, development and education of the diverse Historic Northeast in Kansas City, Missouri. Harmony Project KC (HPKC), the flagship program of NECC, harnesses the transformative power of music to increase access to higher education for underserved students by removing systemic barriers to achievement through academic and social support. Our community is seeded through HPKC, providing free after-school orchestral music education and wraparound services to the immigrant and refugee hub of Kansas City. Through our wraparound initiatives, Path to College and Care Services, NECC promotes the well-being of HPKC children and their families, combating the systemic barriers disproportionately found in communities of color.

Music may be how children enter our doors, but once here it is so much more. Our vision is that in a neighborhood with 25+ languages spoken, cultural differences, and challenges, music is the universal language. It is the vehicle to growing a stronger community through increased access to music education and prevention services focused on the well-being of children.



Pawsperity, formerly known as The Grooming Project, opened in 2016 in the heart of Kansas City to provide struggling parents with training in the in-demand, high pay trade of pet grooming. By combining wraparound support services and life skills coursework with grooming training, Pawsperity helps adults remove their barriers to employment and find stability in a new career. To date, over 100 adults living in poverty have completed the program, with 100% of them having employment offers upon graduation. They make an average starting salary of $41,000, with many earning $60,000 or more. The comprehensive nature of Pawsperity’s program gives students the skills, experience, and support they need to change their children’s futures quickly, with many moving from poverty to self-sufficiency in under two years.  



The Sewing Labs (TSL) is a transformative nonprofit with a mission rooted in resilience and community empowerment. Originating from the personal journey of Lonnie Vanderslice and Kelly Wilson, who, in the face of financial adversity, revived their sewing skills to establish the award-winning soft furnishing manufacturing company, Weave Gotcha Covered. In 2016, they founded The Sewing Labs to share the empowering potential of sewing skills. TSL focuses on aiding individuals facing unemployment, low-income wages, and housing insecurity in Kansas City. Through the Sewing Salon Training Program (SSTP), TSL provides comprehensive industrial sewing machine operation training, employment services, and valuable partnerships with other non-profit organizations. The program goes beyond skills training, offering stipends for childcare and transportation, fostering networking opportunities, arranging site visits, and facilitating paid apprenticeships leading to United States Department of Labor certifications. TSL’s commitment extends beyond graduation, with a three-year participant tracking system ensuring lasting impact and successful integration into the workforce.



Originally constructed in 1914 as a massive railroad terminal, Union Station quickly became a centering point for commerce, culture, and community. Today,

 over 100 years later, Union Station Kansas City—a 501(c)3 non-profit organization—has reclaimed those monikers and added more. Today, this historic self-sustaining landmark is Where Kansas City CelebratesTM. Continually evolving and always inventing new ways to make learning meaningful and fun, Union Station, including its marquee science center, Science City, has become the regional destination for families, groups, and special events. This self-sustaining landmark in the heart of downtown is where citizens come together to connect, create, discover, and celebrate. Union Station teaches young students. It delivers world-class exhibitions. And, of course, it celebrates and inspires the diversity of over 2 million residents of the Greater Kansas City community.



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 (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.