When I think back on my childhood, I see that some of my most significant growth and learning occurred during extracurricular activities. For me, it was band where I developed and honed my leadership skills, time management skills, and found a sense of community. For you, maybe it was sports or dance or drama.
Children growing up in financial poverty often have a limited ability to participate in extracurricular activities, mainly due to the cost of participation and equipment. Sometimes the limiting factor is lack of transportation. All children can benefit from finding an activity about which they are passionate and where they can build self-esteem and confidence, improve social skills, and just have fun!
Because of this, Thrive! has obtained funding from the Youth Impacting Community Grant (a program of the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation), the Manhattan Optimist Club, and private donors to form a youth activity fund. While most of our Leaders qualify for scholarships through Parks and Rec, the remaining cost of participation is often more than they have available, and other community activities often lack scholarships.
Since the inception of this fund, two Thrive! children have attended art classes, two have attended a dance clinic, one has attended a horse clinic, three have been enrolled in summer sports through Parks and Rec, four signed up for summer basketball camp, and three attended summer Boys and Girls Club.
We would like to continue to grow this fund so every child has a chance to learn new skills. Would you like to donate to our youth activity fund and benefit the 26 children currently involved with Thrive!? If so, send a check to Thrive! at 612 Poyntz, Manhattan, KS 66502 and put youth activity in the memo line or make an online donation at www.thriveflinthills.com/invest.html and make a note that your donation is for the youth activity fund in the "special notes to seller" field.
—Jayme Morris-Hardeman, executive director
When I speak about Thrive! in the community, one of the first questions I’m asked is how our program is funded. Thrive! is an independent non-profit organization. Like most non-profits, we operate on a combination of donations (both financial and in-kind) and grant funding.
Donations from local individuals and businesses make up about third of our budget. Your contribution is crucial for the ongoing operation of our program.
If you would like to contribute to Thrive! please send a check to 612 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502 or use our website (www.thriveflinthills.com) to contribute through PayPal on the Invest page. Every donation moves us one step closer to our goal of ending poverty in our community.
— Jayme Morris-Hardeman, executive director
For the past couple of years, St. Thomas More Catholic Church has provided a meal once a month for the regular Thrive! Tuesday gathering. One of our recent volunteer crews is pictured on the left. They look like they are having a good time, don't they?!
Instead of one group in the church providing the meal each month, the leadership at the church elected to spread the commitment to several groups in the parish. We build an annual schedule, and groups are asked to bring food in the month assigned to them. With several groups participating in the program, it not only enhances the visibility of Thrive!, but also gets more people involved in giving back to the community.
Thrive! welcomes help from churches, groups, or other individuals who would like to donate meals on Tuesday nights. We usually feed around 60 people. Homemade food is always appreciated, but donating funds toward catered meals is also welcome. For more information, contact Susan Wendland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Larry Brockson
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