From the Ground Up: Kansas City Company Builds Playhouse
Team members from the Kansas City office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) partnered with Catholic Charities this month to construct a playhouse for refugee children.
The project was part of Catholic Charities’ New Roots for Refugees program. The program helps refugees “put down new roots” in the community by providing a working farm for them to grow and sell vegetables to start their own small businesses.
The playhouse features an area for children to play, learn and interact while their parents work on the farm.
“At JLL, we are committed to giving back to our community,” said JLL Senior Vice President and project organizer, Craig Cooper. “New Roots provided us a unique and impactful opportunity for our team to work together. We are so very pleased to partner with Catholic Charities on such a meaningful project.”
The team exceeded their goal of raising $3,700 for this project and the matching funds provided by JLL played a big part in that effort.
“Because of the JLL team’s generosity and compassion, the young children of the farmers have a safe and fun place to play so their parents can focus on farming their livelihood,” said Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Kelly Kearney. “Thank you for supporting and encouraging their hope for a better life.”
For more information on the New Roots for Refugees program, please visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/newrootsforrefugees
The farmers are in full swing planting, maintaining, and harvesting crops at the Juniper Gardens Training Farm.
Produce grown by the New Roots farmers are available at Farmer’s Markets across the metro.
Details of market dates and locations can be found here: https://newrootsforrefugees.blogspot.com
Or map it for your convenience: http://bit.ly/2sthFWA
Helping Break the Cycle of Debt
Nearing the end of his career as an accountant, Vince Nowak was searching for a way to use his professional skills to give back. He found it as a mentor for the Family Financial TransformationsTM program.
The strengthening program is offered by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas in partnership with CommunityAmerica Credit Union Foundation. Mentors are matched to participants who have completed intensive budget coaching and financial classroom instruction.
They meet monthly over a nine month period so the mentor can provide ongoing financial guidance while the participant continues to meet with a Catholic Charities case manager.
Vince’s wife, Linda, who had taught nursing for years and who had a real knack for sticking to the budget, joined him as a mentor. “I’m good at looking at the big financial picture, while Linda is really good at offering practical, moneysaving tips,” says Vince.
The Nowaks highly recommend others consider becoming mentors. “We’ve gotten almost more out of it than the participants,” adds Linda. “It feels like you’re really helping someone as you see them progress and manage their finances in a way that’s positively impacting their lives.”
Adds Vince, “Mentors don’t have to have expert financial skills. They just have to share life experiences with managing their finances.”
To become a financial education mentor, visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/volunteer
Pet Therapy Dog Brings Joy to Hospice Patients
Marty Letourneau always had an interest in doing pet therapy work, so when Stanton came into her life, it was the perfect opportunity to begin this journey. Stanton is a 10yearold black Lab/Golden mix with a very calm and comforting demeanor. Together, they have been doing pet therapy and R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dog) visits for over 8 years.
“It has been so rewarding to see how a visit with a friendly dog can mean so much to people who enjoy and perhaps miss their pets,” says Marty. “We receive so much more than we give.”
Over the years, she has seen firsthand how people will relate to dogs when they do not, or cannot, with other people. The dogs seem to sense this need and, therefore, most times bond easily. “To see someone’s face light up with a big smile when we enter a room is wonderful. We know we have made a difference in their life that day,” adds Marty.
A year ago, Marty’s Mom became seriously ill. The family chose Catholic Community Hospice for endoflife care. In addition to the staff, volunteers visited and provided comfort to not only her Mom, but the entire family. After her Mom passed away, Marty began thinking about how being a pet therapy team volunteer would be a nice way to return all that was given to her family by the Hospice volunteers. She says, “I am so glad we are able to do this and perhaps bring some joy to those in Hospice and their families.”
Pet therapy is one of the specialty services offered by Catholic Community Hospice. To learn more, visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/hospice
Who You Gonna Call? Debt‐Busters!
Hope Hero Shout Out!
The Asset Development team at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas provides financial education to help others get outand stay out of debt. They work to put those we serve on a path to selfsufficiency. They provide hope. They don’t do it for the recognition, but sometimes the recognition comes anyway.
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MoneySmart Kansas City is a coalition that promotes financial capability and economic mobility for all consumers with a focus on lowtomoderate income individuals. This coalition is made up of banking institutions, nonforprofits, community organizations, and school districts which work together to consistently provide and promote quality educational opportunities surrounding finances.
The annual MoneySmart KC luncheon was held at the Federal Bank Reserve of Kansas City where the successful partners and programs were highlighted. CCNEK was recognized for our contributions in community programming, and a being a key partner of MoneySmart Kansas City.
Volunteer’s Go‐Getter Attitude Impacts Leavenworth’s EAC
Nancy Jones is one of those people you just can’t say no to especially when she’s asking for donations to help those served by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Emergency Assistance Center (EAC) in Leavenworth, Kansas.
The 76yearold Lansing resident has been volunteering with Catholic Charities for the last 10 years. Her outstanding service recently earned her the well deserved Humanitarian of the Year award from the Leavenworth County Human Services Council.
“If it wasn’t for Nancy, I don’t know what we’d do,” says Shelly Barton, Leavenworth EAC case manager, adding that Nancy does everything from helping run the food pantry, to recruiting and managing volunteers, to soliciting food and clothing donations. “While she doesn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer, she never says no to us when we need her help.”
A member of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Lansing, Nancy got involved with Catholic Charities’ Leavenworth EAC through a neighbor. Over the years, she’s been deeply affected by her experience, and continues to rally for the organization everywhere she goes. “The kindness that the staff shows to people that come in for help, has really impressed me,” she said. “Throgh Catholic Charities, I’m able to serve the poor, and that’s what keeps me going.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Catholic Charities’ EAC locations, visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/volunteer
Ways to make a difference. Donate your car.
Make a difference. It’s easy. It’s tax deductible. And it makes a big AND LASTING impact for families right here in our local community.
That’s because the proceeds benefit valuable Catholic Charities programs and services across the region.
If you have a vehicle you don’t want anymore in ANY condition please consider donating it to Cars4KC.com.
FEED LOCAL FAMILIES.
Now, more than ever, we need your help…local families need your help.
Feeding hungry families continues to be a focus for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. During the
summer months when school lunch programs are on break, the demand for food at our pantries increases while donations decrease.
You can help. Your gift of any dollar amount will
make a difference in the lives of those experiencing hunger this summer with 91 cents of every donated dollar going directly to helping local neighbors in need.
Please give. Visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/feedfamilies No one should go hungry this summer, especially a child.
Looking to volunteer?
Contact Michelle Carlstedt at 913.433.2080
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