Story Time at the Library
I grew up hearing the mantra, “readers are leaders,” but today far too many kids fall behind in reading and get left behind. Especially this past year. Kids who aren’t successfully reading at grade level by the third grade are four times less likely to finish high school. Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds—or 7,000 a day, and most of it can be blamed on a history of poor reading. More than 30 million adults read below a fifth grade reading level.
This summer take the opportunity to take a young relative or friend to read at your local library or volunteer to read during story time like I did. It will bless you and the ears that hear. And pick up a book the next time you’re bored with Netflix. I promise you it’s always better than the movie.📚
European Soccer Camp
I don’t play soccer anymore, but I’m the one that really scored! I grew up playing at Junior’s European Soccer Camp before concussions sidelined me, and it was a great privilege to return to encourage some precious kiddos to chase their dreams.💫⚽️
Kansas Special Olympics
It’s better to be impactful than impressive. SO EXCITED to host the first in-person event for Kansas Special Olympics post COVID! What a joy to gather and work on our fitness while enjoying the connectedness of togetherness.
Visit Special Olympics Kansas to learn more, get involved, or donate.
I had the best time emceeing the KidsTLC fashion show! KidsTLC transforms the lives of children and families experiencing mental and behavioral health challenges, developmental trauma, and autism. They foster an environment where children feel safe, secure, and learn to trust and move forward. Focusing on the human connection before the behavioral correction, KidsTLC provides children an environment to learn, develop healthy interpersonal skills, and overcome whatever they may have faced in their past.
Visit https://www.kidstlc.org/ to learn more about KidsTLC, get involved, or donate.
THE GOLDEN SCOOP
At The Golden Scoop they empower special needs heroes to succeed far beyond what most people think is possible. Remember to never underestimate, under value, or put limitations on people.🤍 The Golden Scoop employs 21 Superstars and has 18 on the waiting list! They have an incredible, capable staff that are purpose-driven and so fun to spend time with!
The Golden Scoop is a nonprofit and relies heavily on donations to purchase the ingredients to make their delicious ice cream and pastries in house.
In their first two weeks of operation, they sold 7,000 scoops of ice cream, 2,000 coffees, and 700 muffins!
Head over to thegoldenscoop.org to learn more, donate, or get directions to Kansas City’s hottest new ice cream joint where the ice cream is amazing & the people are even better!🤗🍦
GIVING THE BASICS
It seems so basic-but it’s not. I tried going without the basics for just a day to see what so many people in our community experience, and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even last a day.
One of my goals as Miss Kansas USA is to introduce some of the amazing organizations making a difference in our communities, so you can see the need and decide if you want to get involved. Serving others is something I’ve grown up doing and it’s one of the most rewarding things ever. Even a small contribution of time or money makes a big difference. I want to start off with an incredible organization called Giving the Basics.
Food stamps don’t cover the basics. Food pantries don’t distribute the basics. Giving the Basics stands in the gap supplying a need that’s not being met for those who are disadvantaged. They provide personal care products for human dignity. It’s easy to donate or drop by their facility in KC, KS, with friends to pack items for a block of time. I also love that they work with the KC Police Department for distribution to those most vulnerable in society. The police pass out basics to those left behind after a crime, teenagers on the street, and others in need, while also building relationships with residents. Being clean changes everything.
“Together we can improve health, provide dignity, and offer hope.”
Check them out on IG at:
www.GivingTheBasics.org and click “Get Involved.”
Do you ever get “hangry?” I know I do! Knowing kids go hungry every day and that we can do something about it is a huge motivator. Time flew by while I helped pack 500 meals and heard about the amazing work Pete’s Garden is doing to provide meals to food insecure families.
The US has the capacity to produce enough food to feed everyone; yet— restaurants waste over $25 billion in food each year. 30% of wasted food was never even served. Surplus food from Kansas City restaurants alone could provide up to 1 million meals to hungry families. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about how to put dinner on the table—they should be looking forward to their family time, helping with homework and reading, and loving their little ones. In the US, no one needs to go hungry and there are answers.
Every community in the country is home to families who face hunger including rural and suburban communities. Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support. Pete’s Garden is providing answers to fighting the hunger crisis. They collect unserved prepared food from caterers, restaurants, and food service operations, portion donated food into balanced meals, and partner with social service groups to get meals to families. Get involved with Pete’s Garden, or consider starting a similar organization where you live. No one can do everything but everyone can do something.
To learn more, donate, or get involved, visit https://petesgarden.org
GREAT PLAINS SPCA
I’m a huge animal lover. As a little girl, my nickname was Ellie May after the animal obsessed tv character. That’s why I’m grateful for the Great Plains SPCA and the incredible work they are doing. Rescue animals, like people, shouldn’t be judged by what they look like on the outside. We are all products of our environment, and these precious pets just want someone to love them. And they are adorable!
Serving nearly 6,000 pets annually, Great Plains SPCA works to save, protect, and improve the lives of animals by providing humane sheltering and unparalleled behavior and training. Their innovative programs promote adoption, outreach, and a better life for pets and the people who love them.
You can help through donations, volunteers, fostering, and spreading the word. Visit www.greatplainsspca.org to get involved. They need newspapers, blankets, donated pet supplies and monetary donations. You can also view their donation wishlist and dogs and cats available for adoption. They are EXPERT matchmakers ready to find you the perfect family member!
New Friends New Life
Trafficking ravages the lives of 40M+ people around the world. It’s a $150 million+ industry—the largest in the world.
Together, we can make progress towards ending modern day slavery.
We must END IT. ❌
New Friends New Life restores and empowers those trafficked, and drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence. I joined NFNL in the fight against trafficking in 2019 and now serve on a board. I’m thankful for the incredible women I’ve met serving with this organization and how we all share the same passion for lifting up and empowering women.
By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health, and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty, and limited opportunities.
In the United States alone, 100,000 children are trafficked annually.
You can help New Friends New Life in their fight against trafficking by supporting the women they work with by:
1. Donating meal gift cards to provide boxed meals for in person group therapy sessions. You may purchase a card here or click here for more information.
2. Purchasing a stylish scarf crafted by our survivors and a portion of the proceeds from each scarf sale benefits the programs at NFNL. Click here to purchase.
3. Volunteering. Click here for information on becoming a volunteer.
4. Donating. Click here for information on donating.
5. Joining the Circle of Friends. Click here to join the Circle of Friends.
6. Joining the Men’s Advocacy Group. Click here to join the Men’s Advocacy Group.
StandForHer #EndIt #NFNL #NewFriendsNewLife
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING—If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. You can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate safety, call the National Trafficking Hotline at:
1-888-373-7888 –or- TEXT: BeFree 233373
It takes all of us. 🙏🏻