Kansas City is full of generosity. Each year, employee giving campaigns help support hundreds of United Way partner organizations to provide life-changing services for the betterment of our community’s health, education and financial stability.
But many of the 1 in 3 Kansas Citians served by United Way of Greater Kansas City don’t just need one kind of our care and support. Parents need help from neighborhood food pantries to eat in the face of soaring grocery prices. Kids need healthy smiles from community dental clinics and support from after-school programs to thrive.
When you invest right from the start, with programs like Promise 1000, you’re making a genuine difference. When we all pitch in, we can amplify our giving even more.
“Being a mom is hard even on the best day. It’s still hard,” said mom Sydney Bridger. Sydney was a single mother to a young daughter when she learned she was pregnant with a little boy. “It was really, really difficult,” Sydney said. “Just aside from parenting itself and trying to not only navigate life with a newborn, but also navigate life with a new newborn plus a five-year-old. My sister was actually pregnant at the same time, and she told me about the program.”
The program she learned about was Promise 1000, an organization receiving funding from United Way of Greater Kansas City.
“Promise 1000 is a health care collaborative that allows home visiting agencies to really come together to create an atmosphere where families can come and find resources that they need,” said Toni Reynolds, home visiting manager with Easterseals Midwest. “We focus on mental health and physical health, so it’s not just for the making sure that the child is attending those regularly scheduled well-child check. It’s also making sure that mom is doing okay. You know, screenings for postpartum depression that it’s so crucial for some of these moms that otherwise would not have access to those kinds of resources that promise 1000 is able to provide.”
“I think it gives you more of a voice to talk, to have somebody listen to you that’s really empowering, and it gives you kind of a new outlook on parenting,” said Sydney Bridger.
The program simply cannot function without donor support.
“The funding for this is so important to keep this going. You know, moms can’t always drive to a class, but we meet them where they’re at and without the funding we wouldn’t be able to do that,” said Easterseals Midwest parent educator Carron Miesner. “So I really think home visiting is such a crucial aspect of young moms and moms that are struggling. And it then kind of changes the trajectory of how they end up doing later on.”
Sydney knows Promise 1000 has changed her life forever. Not only is her family stronger today, she is also more financially empowered. Sydney is now working as a parent educator with Easterseals Midwest to help other families on their journey.
“Thank you to everyone who gives for all of their support through United Way for the Promise 1000 program. It really does make a difference in the lives of moms and dads,” Bridger said. “I think for someone that is thinking about donating, definitely do it because your money is going to go to making a lot of lives better.”
There are a million ways to be United. What’s yours?