Breaking Ground; Building Community
On June 13, donors and clients, board and staff members all gathered to break ground on a $3 million project to restore and renovate our 1940s community center building at 526 Campbell, which has lain vacant for nearly a decade. After two years of fundraising, we have now raised enough to begin this long-anticipated project. Many thanks to our constant supporters for making this dream a reality!
It's Graduation Time!
We had a graduation ceremony for over 100 ESL students who are progressing to the next level in their English studies. Congratulations to each one of the graduates, and many thanks to the dedicated team of staff and volunteers who have guided them this far!
While the icy weather last week had many locals enjoying several days off work and school, Don Bosco seniors anxiously hoped weather conditions would improve. Our seniors knew inclement weather meant Don Bosco would likely be closed. Because of the weather, weekend, and holiday, The Don Bosco Senior Center and Meals on Wheels program was closed for six days in a row. For many of our seniors, that meant six days without a hot meal.
Upon reopening on Friday, we hit the ground running. Short-staffed, our Administrative Assistant, Dustin Roberts, and I (Mo Orpin) helped to hand-deliver meals to our 380 Meals on Wheels recipients. Delivering meals and seeing our seniors’ smiles was truly powerful and heartwarming.
YOU MADE THIS POSSIBLE!
We cannot thank you enough for joining us in this fight against senior hunger in Kansas City.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-691-2900 to get involved!
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.
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."
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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.”