Our club has been busy these last few weeks!
We started our April meetings with guest speaker Mary Esselman, CEO of Operation Breakthrough.  Operation Breakthrough began in 1971 to provide quality child care for inner-city children of the working poor.  Today, Operation Breakthrough supports over 700 children each day!  Children of all ages – from a few weeks to 18 years old – benefit from the services provided by Operation Breakthrough.  For younger children, Operation Breakthrough helps prepare them for school; for older children, Operation Breakthrough helps prepare them as they get ready to transition from school to the workforce. Operation Breakthrough provides many different programs to help children achieve their goals such as SmartLab, MakerSpace, Ignition Lab, and MUCH more!  Each of these programs encourage children to get "hands on" and while learning about things like robotics, electronics, graphic arts, and more!  To learn more about the great work Operation Breakthrough is doing, check out this short video or visit their website at operationbreakthrough.org!
Later that week, club members did a trail cleanup on the Clear Creek Trail in Western Shawnee as part of Shawnee's Adopt-A-Spot program!  It was a beautiful morning for a walk and we collected enough trash to fill a large trash bag!
Our second meeting in April featured guest speaker Amy Cox, Executive Director of Flourish Furniture Bank.  Founded in 2009, Flourish Furniture Bank collects and distributes home furnishings to families in need.  Guests are empowered to choose all of the essential and non-essential furnishings needed to outfit their space during their own personalized shopping appointment.  In addition, moving support is provided to help get the items to their home.  Flourish partners with 84 social agencies and is supported by 800-900 volunteers!  In 2022, Flourish worked with 882 families and they are on-track for 1,300 families in 2024.  You can learn more about the amazing work Flourish is doing in our community by watching this short video or by visiting their website at flourishfurniturebank.org!
Lastly, our club, once again, helped build beds this weekend at Sleep in Heavenly Peace's bed build event!  Our club has been doing this for a few years and is one of our member's favorite volunteer events!  This weekend's bed build featured over 165 volunteers from many different organizations that helped build 160 beds for kids in our Kansas City community that don't have a bed of their own.  Our club used our District Grant, along with some club funds, to donate $3,000 to this weekend's SHP bed build!  THANK YOU to the club members, spouses, and friends that volunteered from our club at the event!  Because of you, soon 160 kids will have their own bed as SHP works toward ensuring "NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!"  You can learn more about SHP by checking out their website at shpbeds.org!