KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- I'm like a proud mom this holiday season.
Twenty years ago when I came to Kansas City, I started Awesome Ambitions, a college and career readiness nonprofit organization for 8th through 12th-grade girls.
Every year, we have a holiday party for the girls. Usually, they have a gift exchange but this year the girls decided that instead of giving each other gifts they would get gifts for teen girls living in the Rose Brooks Center -- a domestic violence shelter.
In early December our Awesome Ambitions girls volunteered at the Rose Brooks Center, organizing the clothing closet and cleaning toys. Rose Brooks Volunteer Coordinator Joan Dougherty showed them a short video about the mission of Rose Brooks and explained how the shelter helps women in crisis who are running away from abusive situations.
My Awesome Ambitions girls were inspired and decided they wanted to do more than volunteer. They wanted to help some of the teen girls at the center.
I was so proud because it was their idea to bring gifts for girls living at Rose Brooks. All the girls voted to participate and during their holiday party on December 16, my Awesome girls donated two large boxes of jeans, shirts, and tops along with about a dozen full-size bottles of hairspray, shampoo, and conditioner.
I talked with our Awesome Ambitions Student Advisory Board Chair Olivia Williams about the donation project.
"When we learned that teenage girls at Rose Brooks didn't have some of the things they need, we knew we wanted to help," said Williams.
I'm so proud of my Awesome Ambitions girls for making the holidays brighter for teenage girls at Rose Brooks. I hope their example of generosity will inspire other teens to get involved and help people in their community during the holidays and any time of the year.