Posts Tagged ‘volunteer’

KC Kids Fun: Update on our Community Partners

Posted January 12, 2009 10:41pm by Jane

You may have noticed an area designated “Our Community Partners” down the left-hand side of the site. The first two organizations we have chosen to support are Children’s TLC Therapeutic Learning Center and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Greater Kansas City Chapter (AAFA).

A little background on both: The mission of CTLC is to provide therapeutic and educational services for children with disabilities in an environment which fosters their independence and celebrates their successes. CTLC was established in Kansas City in 1947 and is located at 31st and Main Street. No child is denied services due to inability to pay.

And, readers, CTLC needs YOUR help! Volunteer now for the 2009 Groundhog Run on Jan. 25. It’s all hands on deck for this annual event: your help is needed for things like handing out T-shirts, runner check-in, assisting at the finish line, and even distributing water to the over 3000 participants. Groundhog Run is held at Hunt Midwest Subtropolis, 8300 NE Underground Drive (across from Ameristar Casino), and includes a 5K, which starts at 9am, and a 10K, which begins at 10am. All ages are welcome. To volunteer, contact Coeli Baker at or call 816-756-0780. Click here for race details.

AAFA-KC is an organization very close to my heart–my son has severe asthma and has been on medication all of his 7 years! AAFA conducts many programs and offers services to Kansas City area children, adults and families. These include Family Asthma and Allergy Education Day, Adult Discussion Groups and Medical Equipment Assistance. In addition, AAFA’s Casino Night helps raise funds to ensure Kansas City’s kids with asthma and allergies are able to attend Superkids Asthma Day Camp each year. We profiled Asthma Camp as part of our Summer Camp Series–one of our most popular features to date!

The 14th Annual Family Asthma and Allergy Education Day will take place on March 7, 2009 at Shawnee Mission South High School (5800 W. 107th Street, OP, KS). This is a fantastic, interactive opportunity for families and individuals to learn from area health care professionals. AAFA needs YOUR help! Volunteers are needed to assist with this important day. For information, call 816-333-6608. In addition, volunteers are needed and welcome year-round to assist with programming as well as fundraising. Simply send an email to Melissa at for more information.

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KC Kids and their Families–Giving the Gift of TIME!

Posted November 17, 2008 8:00pm by Jane

It’s that time of year when thoughts naturally turn to helping others. Sometimes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by requests for donations. I think that teaching our kids the importance of giving back to the community and helping those who are less fortunate should be an ongoing process–not just reserved for November and December. I’m reminded of a small piece of paper taped to my refrigerator; and it says this: “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”

That being said, we thought we’d offer some suggestions for kid-friendly volunteering opportunities. Remember–it doesn’t have to be about money–it’s giving your TIME and ENERGY that matters! These are life lessons that your children will never forget, and volunteering can become something the whole family looks forward to doing together–all through the year!

  • The Salvation Army Bell-Ringing is underway! The best part about this is that the money collected in the kettles stays right HERE in the KC metro. My 6-year-old son and I have manned the kettle for several 2-hour shifts at our neighborhood Hy-Vee for the past 3 years–and kids have a way of turning EVERY passer-by into a donor! Bundle up the kiddos and enjoy a great time together.
  • Check out the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater KC. YVC organizes youth and family helpers at Harvesters, the city’s largest food bank. Your help is needed sorting and boxing donated food! It’s no news that food banks are running dangerously low now…some are even forced to close their doors. You might consider a small neighborhood or classroom food drive…and then deliver the food to Harvesters on the day you choose to volunteer. Location: 3801 Topping Ave., KCMO 816.929.3000
  • Adopt a family through Don Bosco Centers’ Holiday Friends! This is such a great project for a family or neighborhood to take on. Holiday Friends is a fundraising program which benefits the clients of the Don Bosco Centers. You might be familiar with local radio station Star-102’s annual marathon event (December 5 this year) which places hundreds of clients with “adoptive families.” You can get specific names, ages and sizes for a family in need and can even personally deliver your gifts. This really shows us the true meaning of the holiday season! Your kids will never forget it. For more information, call the Holiday Friends Hotline at 816-691-2906 or visit
  • Check out The site features loads of volunteer opportunities, and you can organize your results by Distance, Event Date and even Date Posted. While not all are kid-specific opportunities, you might find something suitable for the whole family or just for you!
  • Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough- St. Vincent’s Family Service Center is located at 30th and Troost in KCMO. According to their website, volunteers range from ages 8-80 and do everything from “rocking babies to tutoring parents for the GED exam.” They have an adopt-a-family Christmas program, similar to Don Bosco Center’s. The children who receive Christmas aid all come from low-income families. Some are homeless, many reside in foster care and most attend Operation Breakthrough’s day care program or are alumni. Please help!
  • Brighten someone’s day with a little artistic cheer… you can do something as simple as having your child(ren) draw some holiday-themed pictures; use the glue, markers, construction paper, glitter, etc. Take your creations to a nearby nursing home or to Children’s Mercy Hospital near Crown Center. You’ll be glad you did!
  • City Union Mission— You can go in with family, friends or coworkers to adopt a family for the holidays through City Union Mission, too. Please remember that families need our help year-round…not just at the holidays. Click here for a list of inexpensive, everyday items which you could collect and deliver to the Mission any day of the year.

Please feel free to submit any additional kid and family-friendly volunteer opportunities. We would be happy to post them!

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Pencils and Scissors and Rulers, Oh My!

Posted August 11, 2008 3:20pm by Jane

KC Kids Fun - School SuppliesReaders–please indulge me as I break down and write a completely non-activity related post! I’m sure many of you spent a portion of your weekend at the same place I did–Walmart! I can’t even believe that it’s Back To School time. It’s actually my favorite time of year. I love the fresh start, the excitement of school friends and most of all…THE SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

I vividly remember going with my mother and sister to Pinkies dime store in South Kansas City’s Red Bridge Shopping Center. Usually, my best friend, Mary Jo, would be there, too! Pinkies was the best for the following things: candy, the Halloween costumes that came in the cardboard box with the face mask, and school supplies. We would spend what seemed like hours admiring the blue-jean notebooks, the Trapper Keepers and the decorated folders. We dreamed of the day that the supply list would include the oh-so-cool sharp metal compass! And then there were the lunch boxes. You know…the metal box ones with the matching thermos…Holly Hobby was my all-time favorite!

That being said, I was just certain that my son would be at least as excited as I was to get ready for school…let me just say that my friend and I won’t soon make the same mistake of shopping with 3 boys in tow. They weren’t event mildly interested. Until I came across “plastic ruler” on the supply list. For those of you who don’t have boys…”plastic ruler” translates into A WEAPON. In no time, the plastic rulers became light sabers and swords. Right in the middle of the school supply aisle. Right in the middle of what seemed like several hundred people. I guess the whole Back To School excitement is a girl thing!

All this talk about school supplies brings me to a very cool volunteer opportunity in our community. City Union Mission , located at 13th and Wabash in KCMO, provides hot meals and a place to stay to those in need, in addition to a multitude of other services. They are currently interviewing families in need of school supplies, and through donations, will help children go back to school with new backpacks, stuffed full of the necessities! You can donate pocket folders, binders, tissues, erasers…and of course, you can donate your time, too. Check it out.

I can’t even believe summer is coming to an end and it’s back to school time. But I love it! Soon, Friday night football games and pumpkin patches will follow. As we say goodbye to summer, Kate and I want to give a big thanks to our readers. Our readership has grown by leaps and bounds since we launched, and it’s because of you! Keep passing us along to your family and friends! Thanks also to those of you who have taken time to email comments. Each and every one helps us make the site even better. We appreciate your suggestions and event submissions, as well. Keep up the good work and keep having FUN with your KC Kids!