By Marc Shaffer
My involvement in the Centurions Leadership Program gave a broad overview of the KC metro and how everything connects; businesses, charities, education, etc. It led me to want to volunteer in my own backyard, where I live and work, in Overland Park.
I was first introduced to Growing Futures Early Education Center (then known as Head Start of Shawnee Mission) in 2014 when they applied as a beneficiary of the Overland Park South Rotary Club’s annual Jazz in the Woods event. Like many others in our community, I was surprised by the poverty in Johnson County. Did you know that based on 2017 census data, more than 30,000 residents are living in households with income at 100% of the federal poverty level? In 2019, for a family of four, that is an annual income of $25,750. Fortunately, in Johnson County, we have Growing Futures Early Education Center to assist vulnerable families with their mission of nurturing children and strengthening families to enrich the community.