Giving and receiving through the United Way
The Kansas City Star
Expect gatherings in the new year for classes at the Whole Person Inc.’s new headquarters at 3710 Main St. The remodeled, three-story building with universal design will be accessible to people with disabilities, their family members and advocates.
It’s also where United Way of Greater Kansas City funds will be put to great use in the independent living programs that the Whole Person provides. It’s one of nearly 150 agencies that the United Way finances, providing more than 300 programs to boost the health, education and income of the community.
The Whole Person serves about 3,000 people a year. Throughout its 33-year history it has pushed to erase the stigma that accompanies disabilities. Whole Person’s advocacy and programs enable individuals to contribute to society and live productive lives.
“We’re all about helping people live independently,” said Christi Campos, director of development with the Whole Person. The organization, with about 90 employees, successfully pushed for curb cutouts in sidewalks to make them accessible to people using wheelchairs and audible traffic signals to give people with disabilities greater freedom and independence.
Whole Person will offer sign language, lip-reading, employment and exercise classes. It has mental health and school-to-work programs for youths and young adults.
The organization isn’t just a recipient of United Way funds. Its employees also contribute to United Way. Campos said the United Way campaign is a morale booster. “We’ve had some great participation, and it’s increased,” she said.
United Way is asking donors to increase contributions by 5 percent and area companies to increase the number of those who give by 5 percent. This year’s United Way campaign continues through Nov. 15. For more information visit unitedwaygkc.org.