By Michelle Pekarsky
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Members of the Chiefs Community Caring Team including Kansas City Ambassadors visited The Children’s Place on Thursday prior to the Chiefs Charity Game, which raises money for the organization that focuses on the needs of children who have suffered trauma.
Former Chiefs and current Chiefs Ambassadors, Dave Lindstrom and Anthony Davis, played with the kids at The Children’s Place, 2 E. 59th St. The visit promoted the 2016 Chiefs Charity Game, which will be played on Saturday, August 13. Funds for The Children’s Place are raised through Charity Game sponsorships. Businesses or individuals can purchase a sponsorship package which could include suite tickets, game tickets, and game day experiences such as drumming the drum, throwing out the first pass, etc. Click here to see some of the sponsorship packages.
Last season this initiative raised a campaign record of $736,000.
The Children’s Place has been in existence for 38 years, committing to meeting the development and mental health needs of the very youngest survivors of abuse, neglect and other trauma.
“Two years ago we had the opportunity to apply to be the recipient of the Chiefs Charity Game. When we were selected it was a game-changer for us. With the idea of being a partner of the Chiefs’ community, we have the opportunity to change our future,” said Ann Thomas, President CEO of The Children’s Place. “This is an opportunity for the Chiefs to partner with us to bring recognition but also the opportunity to raise money to help us create maybe a new facility or expand the facility we have so we can serve more children in our community. So it’s a wonderful day.”
Each year The Children’s Place serves more than 500 children. There is a therapeutic preschool there that has 52-children on site. The Children’s Place transports them door to door so that they receive early education. They receive all their mental health services, speech therapy, occupational therapy there.
The Children’s Place also provides outpatient therapy for any child in the community under the age of eight that may have experienced a traumatic event such as a significant car accident to a house fire or abuse. Unfortunately, stressful things happen to families, and it does impact young children.
“Many of us don’t realize what trauma is. It’s a very stressful life event. It’s a point where a child may feel that their life or the life of someone they love has been hurt. So when we’re in homes where there’s violence, where there’s community violence, when young children see that, it changes their understanding of what the world looks like,” Thomas said.
“When a child is hurt by someone that is supposed to be taking care of them, it changes their pattern of understanding how relationships are supposed to happen. So we forget that early on, that these stressful events are formative in their understanding of how life is going to look. What we try to do at The Children’s Place is repattern that. They are given lots of love, lots of attention, lots of recognition and a lot of developmental encouragement so they can see that there is a different way to experience life,” Thomas said.