Locally

Bringing God's love and hope across borders in the Kansas City area.

 


Serve our city and have some fun with other Hillcresters! We are hosting a table at Village Fest on July 4 with popsicles, activities for kids and information about Hillcrest for people who are interested. We need four people to help from 8:30-10 AM and four people from 10-1 PM. Contact Jessica at  if you're interested.

Join other Hillcresters to serve at Adelante Thrift on the third Saturday each month. 6/15, 7/20, 8/17 (10 AM to Noon). Mission Adelante is one of our mission partners that serves in Kansas City, KS with youth, English language learners, and refugees. Their thrift store is a way to provide quality donated goods and employment opportunities in their community. We will sort donations and hang up clothing for the store. You might find an amazing bargain if you stay and shop afterwards! Feel free to come for part or all of the time and bring a friend who cares about serving our community. Contact Ashley with any questions at  . Sign up here.

Thank you to everyone who gave items during the Welcome Home donation drive for refugees! Your generous contributions to refugees being resettled through Mission Adelante have provided for three families to have places to sit, plates to eat from, and warm bedding in their new homes. Pictured here are three of our Good Neighbor team members helping to set up a home for a family from Colombia.

If you're interested in serving refugees as they transition to the U.S., you can fill out this form to learn more about our Good Neighbor teams which work to meet physical and relational needs of refugees. Whether you have an hour once a month or can serve more frequently, we would love to have you join the team! 

Good Neighbor Team Sign-Up

Mission Adelante Good Neighbor Teams I Mission Adelante will have one-time, ongoing, individual, and group opportunities to serve in their Reception and Placement program (R&P) for newly arrived refugees. The goal of the R&P program is to empower refugees to rebuild their lives, become self-sufficient, and integrate successfully into their new environment within a challenging but crucial 90-day window. 

Mission Adelante is excited to expand resettlement in Kansas City and extend a welcome to refugees. They will join the organizations already doing great work with refugee resettlement in Kansas City, including their long-time partner, Catholic Charities. And on the Missouri side, Della Lamb and Jewish Vocational Services.  

The overarching umbrella of Refugee Resettlement could include many programs as it grows, but they are starting with the Reception and Placement program(R&P). R&P offers newly arrived refugees a structured 90-day period of support as they adapt to life in the United States. This program provides essential services such as securing safe and furnished housing, initial financial assistance for basic needs, access to medical care and vaccinations, cultural orientation, assistance with documentation like Social Security numbers, job placement services, enrollment in English language classes, and connections to community resources. The goal of the R&P program is to empower refugees to rebuild their lives, become self-sufficient, and integrate successfully into their new environment, all within a challenging but crucial 90-day window.

They have been approved to assist in the resettlement of 75 refugees through October 2024. If this is something that you are interested in, they invite you to join them. For more information, click here...

To sign up, contact Jessica Fick at

Serve at Adelante Thrift

Mission Adelante's Thrift store exists to serve and enhance its community from Monday – Saturday, 9 AM to 7 PM. Volunteer to sort and price clothing, assemble food baskets and much more. Learn how you and your group can help here: http://www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer/.

Adelante Thrift uses funds generated from their store to support their programs to serve refugees, immigrants, and kids in Kansas City, KS. Hang up and sort clothing to be sold at Adelante Thrift while getting to know other Hillcresters. Meet in the lobby of Adelante Thrift at 3720 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102. Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be on your feet. To sign up, click here.

Adelante Thrift Store

Donate gently used items to Adelante Thrift in all departments: Men's, Women's, and Children's Clothing, Housewares, Electronics, and Furniture. Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. KC, KS 66102. Donations are accepted on Saturdays only from 10 AM - 5 PM.

Mission Adelante

Mission Adelante is an urban ministry in Kansas City, Kansas that serves immigrants and refugees from all places. Founded in 2005, they equip and empower children, youth, and adults in life and faith. On a community scale, they establish collaborative initiatives, like Adelante Thrift, that contribute to the flourishing of their neighborhood.

Learn what goes on at a typical night of programming at Mission Adelante? Adelante Arts Community, Refugee Kids Club, Refugee Youth Club, Citizenship Class, Latino ESL, Teens Adelante, and Kids Adelante during one of their observation nights. Visit www.missionadelante.org/observe to sign up!

Mission Adelante reaches out to immigrant and refugees in Kansas City, KS through: Kids programs (Tuesday and Thursday evenings),
Youth programs (Wednesday evenings), After school mentoring (Monday through Wednesday afternoons), Adult ESL (English as a Second Language) (Tuesday and Thursday evenings) and Arts. To volunteer at Mission Adelante: http://www.missionadelante.org/serve/


Freedom Fire Urban Ministries

Serve dinner on Friday nights
Their Friday Night Outreach is designed for grade-schoolers, with a separate meeting for teens at the Ministry House. They have 4 meetings that occur simultaneously in separate community centers around the inner city, with several hundreds of kids in total, and 5-20 volunteers at each location. Each meeting is led by a staff member or two, and each (ideally) has volunteers assigned for that week. Church groups often get involved in these meetings by bringing the meal, doing a skit, giving a testimony, or just playing along with all the kids. This is a great way to be exposed to Freedom Fire and develop relationships with a few kids. Each week they play games, give a short devotional, share a meal and have a raffle. 

After School Tutoring
Tutoring is provided on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 pm-6:00 pm. Times are flexible based on the availability of the tutor. Freedom Fire screens and recruits the students from our neighborhood activities. Relationships are important, so tutors meet consistently with the same student each week, building friendship along the way. Training and background checks are required. This is a great way to deeply impact and prepare our students for their future.

Freedom Fire Urban Ministries provides tutoring, reading, mentoring, and Friday night youth outreaches in Kansas City, Missouri. They also have a church that meets on Sunday mornings and primarily serves the homeless population. To volunteer at Freedom Fire, visit http://freedomfire.org/volunteer-opportunities/

Youth
There are five youth outreaches (four meet on Friday night) where volunteers are needed to assist with games, meals, and various activities.

1-on-1 leaders are needed to meet with youth on a weekly basis after school. This could involve tutoring, mentoring, spiritual encouragement, and fun activities.

Homeless
Meals are needed every Sunday at their local church. Over 60% of the congregation are homeless and do not have access to another meal on Sunday. You can also volunteer at Worship Wagon, a mobile church, on Sunday afternoon or Monday night. Learn more at http://worshipwagon.org

Projects
There are numerous opportunities to help by providing some labor either at their ministry center or their camp located about an hour south of Kansas City.


Mentoring and Ministry to Inmates

Prison Alpha – Leavenworth Penitentiary

Christian male and female volunteers are needed. Prison Alpha—like Alpha in general— is a respectful introduction to Christianity. The main difference is that the meeting place is in a federal prison and prison inmates are the guests.  Prison Alpha meets weekly for 14 weeks, and two Alpha courses are offered per year. Alpha evenings are Wednesday evenings, and carpooling is available from Overland Park. Departure is at 4:30, and arrival at the penitentiary at 5:30, where it takes about a half hour to go through entrance security procedures. The inmates join the volunteers in the chapel at 6 PM. The course begins with a brief greeting followed by prayer and a song or two. The DVD is shown and then small group discussions follow. There are usually five or six small groups including a Spanish-speaking group as well. At the end of the group discussion time, the evening is closed in prayer. Brief conversations follow before saying goodbye until next week. The inmates are always kind and appreciative. Some are returning from a childhood faith abandoned. Others are dealing with bad experiences with Christians but nevertheless recognize they need God in their lives. Others are genuinely searching for the first time. All have committed crimes and lived a criminal lifestyle. Some are overwhelmed with their predicament and are looking desperately for a new way to live. Good friendships develop over the time spent together. The men discover Jesus coming to visit them, and volunteers discover Jesus there waiting for them to join alongside Him serving the men He loves very much.If you sense that Jesus is calling you to join us as a volunteer or have questions, feel free to call.

Mel and Becky Bockelman: 913-634-1955; 913-544-6634
Steve and Karen Graf: 913-788-1952

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires volunteers to fill out an application and security check followed by a three-hour orientation meeting. The whole process may take several weeks but you will be welcomed by volunteers and inmates alike.

Life Connection Program – Leavenworth Penitentiary

Christian male volunteers are needed. Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary holds approximately 2,000 male inmates. Within three years of being released from prison, over 75 percent recidivate and return. The Life Connections Program (LCP) is a voluntary faith-based re-entry program that prepares inmates for return to the community. Research over the last ten years has found that prisoners who attend this extensive program recidivate at less than 10 percent—ninety percent never return to jail. The Life Connections Program prepares inmates for a successful return to the community. It consists of 18 months of classes that teaches inmates how to think differently, change their values, manage their emotions and behavior, re-connect with their families, and connect with God. Toward the end of the program, each inmate is matched with a mentor who meets with them one-on-one outside of those classes to learn to have a healthy relationship with another adult, to share their hopes and dreams, to receive assistance on making changes in their lives, and also to realistically prepare them to return to their homes and communities. Available mentoring times are Monday mornings from 8:45 to 11:15 AM or Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:15 PM. After going through entrance security protocol with about 10-15 other volunteer mentors, all the mentors meet individually with their mentees in the chapel and spend an hour with that same person. Most mentors choose to stay and meet with a second mentee for the second hour. Over the months, you are able to develop a good relationship with those you mentor. You share casual conversations, serious sensitive conversations, times of laughter and time to pray and read the Bible together, too. LCP participants are so grateful for the time you take to be with them. Some mentors have said that their mentoring relationships have been among the most meaningful experiences of their lives. For more information contact:

Mel Bockelman: 913-634-1955
Steve Graf: 913-788-1952

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires volunteers to fill out an application and security check followed by a three-hour orientation meeting. The whole process may take several weeks but you will be welcomed by volunteers and inmates alike.

Brothers in Blue Re-entry Program – Lansing Correctional Facility

Brothers In Blue Re-entry is an in-prison program designed to heal the heart wounds and restore men’s ability to make positive choices by teaching values from a biblical point of view. Statistical results of this program are showing that fewer men are returning to prison and more men are contributing to family, work, community, church and society. Brothers in Blue is an intensive, voluntary values-based program of work and study within a supportive community that promotes transformation from the inside out by providing a cognitive, faith-based curriculum that prepares men for re-entry into the community. Learn more: www.brothersinbluereentry.org

Gracious Promise

The Gracious Promise Foundation, serving the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, provides material and spiritual assistance to the families of the incarcerated and to ex-offenders in the effort to rebuild their lives. The Gracious Promise Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1995.

Currently Gracious Promise is undergoing a transition. They will be moving to a fully volunteer-led organization. Their 100-plus volunteers are the backbone of the organization; together they generously contribute almost 10,000 volunteer hours every year. Mentoring and  volunteers are needed to sustain this foundation. Volunteer opportunities include connecting with families by phone, letter-writing, office and technical assistance, fundraising, resource research, and in-jail/prison programs. Click here to learn more about this volunteer-led organization.

Mentoring for Success

This community-based statewide initiative delivers mentoring services to help offenders safely and successfully return to communities. Nearly 4,700 offenders leave prison each year and many need help finding employment/housing, getting connected to services/treatment and reuniting safely with neighborhoods/families. Mentors support the work of correctional case workers and service/treatment providers by assisting offenders in reaching their re-entry plan goals. Mentors are also instrumental in helping offenders establish a life of pro-social activities and meaningful engagement within their communities.

Mentors from this area of the state are trained and matched with either male inmates at Lansing State Prison or women inmates at Topeka State Prison. Men mentor men; women mentor women; and married couples have the option to mentor as a couple either men or women. The match and mentoring begins about six months to a year prior to release to  help the inmate prepare for planning to return to the community. When the inmate returns home, the mentoring continues monthly or more frequently for six months.

Services are also continually monitored and evaluated to ensure the most effective mentoring practices are used. For more information: www.doc.ks.gov/help-out/mentoring


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Local Missions 

Jessica Fick | Local Missions |
Jill Jones | Missions Assistant |   

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