5 Ways to Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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As all of us are experiencing the difficulties that have arisen due to the Coronavirus, there are many of us who could either use or lend a helping hand. Amid social distancing practices, there are still ways to get involved and provide support to the community. Here are five organizations that could use your help!

Phoenix Family

One of their primary needs is making sure that families and seniors have the basic pantry supplies needed while schools are closed, and public transportation is now a high health risk. Financial support is the best way to help because the situation is ever-changing, and it gives flexibility to meet whatever the greatest needs are at that time. Click here to donate.

However, if you would like to shop for Phoenix Family, they also greatly appreciate gifts of goods for their pantries. Here are the things that families and seniors need most:

1. Non-perishable food: canned soups, meats, vegetables and fruit, pasta and sauce, and cereal
2. Diapers
3. Depends
4. Toilet
5. Tissue
6. Hand soap
7. Detergent
8. Dish soap

Donations can be left at the backdoor of the Main Offices (3908 Washington, Kansas City, MO 64111) between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.


Image result for harvestersVolunteers at Harvesters are still needed! They are critical to the work done in Harvester’s ability to feed others. Volunteers are essential to sort and repackage millions of pounds of food each month.

Harvesters is closely following the recommendations of the CDC to help stop the spread of germs and have posted CDC guidelines in public areas as a reminder to those coming to the food bank.

If you are not able to volunteer, you can donate food or money! Click here to learn more. Donate nonperishable items in the Harvesters barrels at any Price Chopper or Dillons store. Or hold a food drive and bring donations to Harvesters. The most needed items include: canned meats, rice, pasta, canned soup, canned fruits or vegetables and cereal.

Animal Shelters

Animal shelters need help too! Although Great Plains SPCA is reducing the number of volunteers on site at this time, they are continuing to expand their foster network to help provide additional care for their animals. If you are interested in fostering any of their pets, please reach out to foster@greatplainsspca.org.

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With this in mind, KC Pet Project could also really use help in fostering. This would be a fun option to keep you company during social distancing practices! Check out their website for more information.

Also, a reminder that according to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could spread coronavirus (COVID-19).

American Red Cross

Image result for american red crossAnother way to help is to donate blood. There is currently a severe blood shortage due to the Coronavirus! An unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations has led to a blood shortage. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. Follow this link to find a drive near you.

Supporting each other during a crisis such as this one can bring us together in solidarity to get through it. Stay well!

Know of other organizations that need help? Comment below!

Written by Ethan Bilyeu, Community-Based Learning work study student.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday or #givingtuesday is a movement that was started in 2011 in hopes of creating a national day of charitable giving. Fighting against the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to give back during the holidays. There are so many amazing nonprofits that deserve your donation, but here are just a few to consider:

Freedom Hoops

Freedom Hoops uses basketball to mentor and transform urban youth in Kansas City. Their numbers continue to grow, and they need a 15-passenger van to help transport their young men to Freedom Hoops’  basketball, mentoring, and leadership development programs. They are looking to raise $25,000 to purchase the vehicle. Conservatively, this would provide 2,500 rides next year. Click here to donate now!


The mission of Safehome is to break the cycle of domestic violence and partner abuse for victims and their children in our community. How your donation makes a difference:

  • $25 can help an individual take the first step to self-sufficiency by paying for transportation to support groups, housing, & legal appointments
  • $75 can provide one therapy session for a survivor in need
  • $250 provides a victim of domestic violence legal representation in obtaining a protection order
  • $1,000 provides an apartment security deposit for a family leaving the shelter

Click here to donate now!

Cultivate KC

As you eat well this holiday season, don’t forget to be thankful for the people that make those meals possible: farmers. Local farmers grow the produce that will be showcased on many tables across the metro this Thanksgiving. But they also work tirelessly to ensure that our community has access to fresh, healthy produce year-round.

Farmers like husband and wife Swa Dit (above) and Mee Nge of Ra Mat Dar Farm, who learned to grow food and operate a farm business at Cultivate KC’s Juniper Gardens Training Farm. Since graduating from the training program, Swa Dit and Mee Nge have opened a restaurant, Sone Ze Ya, in the Historic Northeast area where they serve traditional Burmese cuisine using many ingredients they grow themselves.

Give today and help grow and support more farmers and farm families like those of Swa Dit and Me Ngee, who are dedicated to growing food  and strengthening Kansas City’s food community and food system.

Happy Giving!

Celebrate Christmas with the Children of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe!

This year, Community-Based Learning is teaming up with the Center for American Indian Studies at JCCC to coordinate a Christmas drive for the children of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.  We are currently seeking new, unopened gifts for children of all ages.  A Wish List can be found on Amazon and is also listed below.

We are accepting unwrapped gifts through Tuesday, December 3rd.  Gifts purchased through Amazon can be shipped directly to the Center for American Indian Studies (12345 College Boulevard box 36, Overland Park KS, 66210).  If you would like to hand deliver your gift, you can do so by dropping it off at the Center for American Indian Studies (CC223) or the Community-Based Learning Office on Campus (COM 201).

We are planning to deliver the gifts the weekend of December 6th – December 8th, weather permitting.  If weather is an issue, as it can be that time of year in South Dakota, we will deliver the gifts the following weekend, December 13th – December 15th.

Questions can be directed to the Center for American Indian Studies at cais@jccc.edu or (913) 469-8500, x. 2919.

Wish list:

Unisex Teenage Gift (13 & Older)

  1. Art Sets (colored pens and colored pencils, sketch books, acrylic paints and brushes, canvases, etc.)
  2. Ear Buds and Headphones
  3. Basketballs/Footballs/Volleyballs (variety of sizes for boys and girls)
  4. Hoodies/Sweatshirts (variety of sizes & colors)
  5. Scarfs/Hats/Gloves (variety of sizes & colors)

Teenage Boys (13 & Older)

  1. Body Spray/Cologne (AXE, Old Spice, Adidas, Curve, etc.)
  2. Wrist Watches
  3. Snapback Hats (professional and collegiate sports teams, American Indian designs and patterns)

Teenage Girls (13 & Older)

  1. Perfume (Charlie, Vera Wang, Bath & Body Works, PINK, etc.)
  2. Self-Care Kits (nail polish, lip gloss, lip balm, etc.)

Unisex Kids (12 and Under)

  1. Art Sets (crayons, colored pencils, washable markers,
  2. Stuffed Animals/Dolls/Action Figures
  3. Basketballs/Footballs/Volleyballs (variety of sizes)
  4. Scarfs/Hats/Gloves (variety of sizes & colors)
  5. Lego building
  6. Magnetic Building Block sets


  1. Stuffed animals
  2. Block puzzles
  3. Picture books