October 2017

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For years The Don Bosco Centers has facilitated the Holiday Friends program which provides holiday cheer to many of the people we serve. As you may know, many of our Seniors and English as a Second Language School students and their families are living at or below the poverty level, which means that the holidays often create an additional financial and emotional burden for them. We find that our seniors and student families share similar basic needs: personal hygiene items, warm blankets, paper goods/cleaning supplies, warm socks, hats, gloves, and more.

The 2016 Holiday Friends program impacted over 200 seniors and their families who received wonderful gifts from generous donors and over 600 seniors and ESL students who received toiletries, toys, or other gifts.

Here’s how you can help this Holiday Season:

  • Adopt and shop for a homebound senior
  • Purchase items for senior holiday gift bags
  • Purchase items for our ESL student holiday extravaganza
  • Provide a financial donation
  • Volunteer for events in December

Contact Andrea Dutt at adutt@donbosco.org or 816-691-2900 to get involved!

Click here to see the full list of needed items.

Click here to read the full 2017 Holiday Friends Letter.

Click here to fill out the Holiday Friends registration form.

September 2017

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Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City will present the third annual Savor the Flavors event 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Sunday, Oct. 22.  The evening benefits The Don Bosco Centers of Kansas City, a non-profit organization that serves senior citizens and English language learners in the Historic Northeast and throughout the Kansas City metro area.

Seven local chefs from Bristol, The Rieger, Char Bar, The Farmhouse, Ameristar, Garozzo’s, and Room 39 will share samples of signature menu items.  Ameristar will also provide the dessert table.  Drink tickets are included in the price of admission, and a cash bar will be available.  Guests will enjoy the live music of Grand Marquis while bidding on silent auction items and enjoying a wide array of samples from the featured chefs.  Auction items include gift certificates to local restaurants, art pieces, sports tickets, trips and signed memorabilia.  Mike Garozzo and Valissa Smith will co-emcee the event.

Mo Orpin, Executive Director of The Don Bosco Centers, is looking forward to the evening of food and festivities.  “This event continues to grow each year.  It’s a great way for people to get together and have fun while helping to support The Don Bosco Centers, which serve nearly 1,400 people every day.”

The event will be held in Ameristar’s Star Pavilion, 3200 North Ameristar Drive, Kansas City, MO 64161.  Ticket prices are as follows: Single Admission: $100, Line Chef: $1,000 (Table for 10), Sous Chef: $2,500 (Table for 10), Executive Chef: $5,000 (Table for 10).  To purchase individual tickets or a table, call 816-691-2807 or visit www.donbosco.org/upcoming-events/.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Don Bosco Centers, serving senior citizens by providing meals, transportation, fellowship, and activities, and offering free English classes to adult immigrants and refugees from more than 75 countries.


August 2017

Summer 2017 Interns Give and Receive

The Don Bosco School of English had the honor of hosting four interns this summer through the Bishop Sullivan Summer Intern program. The young people spent two months dedicating their time and efforts to serving students by teaching traditional classes like English, math, and reading, as well as a not-so-traditional forklift training course. One intern, Maggie Cain, reflected upon her unique experience of earning her forklift license, and then passing her skills on to her students: "I learned about each student on a personal level, where they were from, their family, their culture; we made a song and dance; we worked on pronunciation of words by doing daily tongue twisters...the value is not all about what subject we teach. After all, we don't teach math, or reading, or English. We teach students. When we live by this philosophy, we touch the lives of our students, and more rewardingly, allow them to touch our lives." 

How do you organize a solar eclipse party?

You planet!


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Seniors Serving Seniors

Providing nourishment to 165 seniors daily at the Senior Center is no easy task, but we've got help! Alan Matney, Cam-Chi Ho, and Pat Brown lend a hand every day by manning the sign-in desk and serving trays to seniors with limited mobility.

Alan, who was recently awarded the Elbert C. Cole Jr. Legacy Award by the George H. Nettleton Foundation, has graciously served wherever needed every day for over 12 years. Cam-Chi has been serving trays to the Vietnamese seniors for four years, and while some may think that language would be a barrier in the serving line, her smiles and hugs communicate her joy and willingness to serve. Pat Brown keeps everyone on their toes with her quick wit and compassionate heart. She has been helping out so long, she can’t remember when she started. When asked why she continues to serve, Pat responded, “I love it. I love helping people.”

July 2017

                                                                                            Top row: Regine, Antoinette, Jolie, Justin, Tshibasu, Maura                                                                                                               Bottom row: Anna, Mary, Valentin, Nicholas The Mpanga family has much to celebrate. The family is pictured above at Jolie's high school graduation where she earned honors and a scholarship to Central Missouri University. Her sister Antoinette completed the CNA program at Penn Valley in May, and their father Tshibasu received his Automotive Technology degree from Vatterott College the next day.      The Mpangas arrived in Kansas City in June 2013 after living for ten years in a refugee camp in Namibia, Africa upon fleeing their home in The Republic of Congo to escape religious and sectarian persecution.      Tshibasu took English classes at Don Bosco, was hired to do maintenance work at the school, and worked part time at the Senior Center to assist with summer meal deliveries. When full-time work became available, Tshibasu’s wife Regine and son Justin took over his jobs at Don Bosco.      Justin earned his Phlebotomy certificate from St. Luke’s, where he is currently employed, while attending full-time classes at UMKC. He hopes to work in the medical field. Valentine is also an outstanding student and his prowess on the soccer field earned him a spot on East High’s varsity team, as well as an invitation to play on a premier team.      Nicholas, Mary, Anna, and Maura keep things lively at home. While this amazing family takes deep pride in their heritage, they have embraced their new culture and are working hard to make their American dreams come true!

                                                                                            Top row: Regine, Antoinette, Jolie, Justin, Tshibasu, Maura     
                                                                                                         Bottom row: Anna, Mary, Valentin, Nicholas

The Mpanga family has much to celebrate. The family is pictured above at Jolie's high school graduation where she earned honors and a scholarship to Central Missouri University. Her sister Antoinette completed the CNA program at Penn Valley in May, and their father Tshibasu received his Automotive Technology degree from Vatterott College the next day.
     The Mpangas arrived in Kansas City in June 2013 after living for ten years in a refugee camp in Namibia, Africa upon fleeing their home in The Republic of Congo to escape religious and sectarian persecution.
     Tshibasu took English classes at Don Bosco, was hired to do maintenance work at the school, and worked part time at the Senior Center to assist with summer meal deliveries. When full-time work became available, Tshibasu’s wife Regine and son Justin took over his jobs at Don Bosco.
     Justin earned his Phlebotomy certificate from St. Luke’s, where he is currently employed, while attending full-time classes at UMKC. He hopes to work in the medical field. Valentine is also an outstanding student and his prowess on the soccer field earned him a spot on East High’s varsity team, as well as an invitation to play on a premier team.
     Nicholas, Mary, Anna, and Maura keep things lively at home. While this amazing family takes deep pride in their heritage, they have embraced their new culture and are working hard to make their American dreams come true!