We stay involved!
Every month we engage with each other and our community.
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests toured the Johnson County Museum on February 14. The museum preserves history that includes maps and artifacts prior to Kansas statehood through the early days of incorporating the suburban municipalities in Johnson County. The building also preserves a 1950s electric model home. Touring the home stirred nostalgic memories of parents’ and grandparents’ homes from that era.
Helping hands and giving hearts encourages our members to reach out to meet community needs during the December 2023 holiday season. Baby hats and blankets, handmade by our members, were delivered to University Health Truman Medical Center for its newborn care needs. True Light Family Resource Center received 20 shopping gift cards to be given as Christmas gifts to families receiving assistance at the facility. In addition, Athenaeum members sewed 116 pillowcases for The Sewing Labs. This is the fourth year for our members to participate in the annual Sweet Dreams for Seniors Pillowcase Project.
Donation to The Rabbit hOle
Kansas City Athenaeum made a $5,000 donation in November 2023 to The Rabbit hOle in North Kansas City, enabling the purchase of a Risograph Printer. The Rabbit hOle is scheduled to open in March 2024, bringing to life a century of American children's literature for visitors of all ages. The Risograph Printer will be a key piece of equipment for the Print Shop and Story Lab, offering youth a unique experience of printing their personal stories and illustrations into books.
Volunteering at Harvesters
Kansas City Athenaeum members volunteered twice in 2023 at Harvesters. In February mesh bags were assembled to hold fruits and vegetables for food distribution. In October members boxed food items to be distributed to food pantries. Harvesters provides food to more than 760 nonprofit agencies with a mission to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow.
Veterans Community Project Tour
Kansas City Athenaeum members toured the Veterans Community Project in October 2023. We have annually sponsored one of the 49 tiny homes in the VCP village since 2021. The naming bricks surrounding their flagpole commemorate our three $10,000 donations along with others participating in Team 49. This was a first visit for some of our members and a repeat visit for others, reaffirming our interest in supporting this worthwhile community program. The Veterans Community Project offers veterans a safe haven to transition toward independence and financial stability.
REHOPE Over the Edge Fundraiser
Kansas City Athenaeum has remarkable members, including one adventurous member willing to rappel from the 14-story Overland Park Marriott at the REHOPE "Over the Edge" fundraiser. REHOPE Farms in Harrisonville, Missouri, provides housing and treatment for women and children rescued from human trafficking. Kansas City Athenaeum gave a sponsorship donation for the October 2023 event where 65 brave rappelers went "Over the Edge" to raise funds benefitting REHOPE Farms and its beneficial program.
GFWC National Day of Service
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests met for a chili luncheon in collaboration with the GFWC National Day of Service. General Federation of Women's Clubs across the nation conducted projects on September 30, 2023, to recognize the American crisis of food insecurity. Our local effort collected 389 cans of food and $120 cash donations for the Central Presbyterian Church food pantry where our luncheon was held. Our meal served chili, cole slaw and cookies inspired by books promoting low-cost nutritional recipes for those subsisting on public support.
Scraps KC Service Project
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests volunteered in June 2023 sorting donated items at Scraps KC. This nonprofit organization collects used and excess materials to repurpose as resources for teachers, artists, churches and youth groups. Their mission includes providing the homeless with necessities, especially during the cold winter months. In addition, the Scraps KC store offers a huge selection of unused and repurposed items for purchase by the general public. Since its launch in 2016, Scraps KC has diverted more than 300 tons of materials from the landfill.
Supporting Missouri Girls Town
Kansas City Athenaeum received the Virginia Oliver Award in April 2023 recognizing our 2022 donations to Missouri Girls Town. Kansas City Athenaeum has supported Missouri Girls Town since its inception 70 years ago. Its mission is supporting youth and families by providing therapeutic services and education to empower them to reach their full potential.
Kansas City Athenaeum members volunteered at HappyBottoms in April and August 2023 packaging diapers for those in need. In addition, we gave a donation to HappyBottoms that will provide a one-month supply of diapers for 120 babies. We strive to support charities serving the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Athenaeum members volunteered at Harvesters in February and Giving the Basics in March.
Sponsoring Women's History Speaker
On April 2, 2023, Kansas City Athenaeum sponsored the program in the Kansas City Public Library’s Sunday Speakers Series. “On Pins & Needles: Nelly Don Workers, Labor Organizing & Community on the Factory Floor in the 1930s” was presented by Dr. Jane Greer, UMKC professor. Nell Donnelly built a thriving garment company in Kansas City that provided favorable working conditions, fair wages and worker pensions. Her interest in employee welfare was counter to the industry’s sweatshops that were prevalent when the company was founded in 1916. Dr. Greer highlighted a few of the 718 archived employee letters explaining why they resisted joining the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The company grew to be the largest women’s garment manufacturer in the 20th century, producing more than 75 million dresses from 1916 to 1978.
Veterans Community Project
Kansas City Athenaeum donated $10,000 in January 2023 to the Veterans Community Project. This donation continues our participation in Team 49 for a third year of sponsoring one of the 49 tiny homes in the VCP village in Kansas City. Our support covers the costs of a veteran's case management, health care, furnishings, utilities and household goods for one year. The Veterans Community Project helps veterans transition toward financial stability, independence, and permanent housing.
National WWI Museum
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests visited the National WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial in January 2023. The guided tour was enlightening with the large volume of displayed memorabilia and videos showing documentary photos of the war effort. Athenaeum members raised funds to help build Liberty Memorial after the war and responded to the French orphan plight by financially supporting the care for 27 orphans.