Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mattie Rhodes Center Celebrates Thursday 115 Years of Brightening Lives And Building Futures

When people think about community organizations they mention a number of groups. Most of them do really good work. One of those groups at the top of the list in our opinion is The Mattie Rhodes Center.

Founded in 1894 by a group of friends who called themselves the Little Gleaners with a $500 donation from friend/Little Gleaner Mattie Florence Rhodes who passed in 1890, the Mattie Rhodes Memorial Society was born.

In its early years, Mattie Rhodes Memorial Society provided daycare for children of working mothers and began providing shelter and basic necessities during the Great Depression. Throughout the 1900s Mattie Rhodes added mental health and social services programs and became one of the first social service centers in Kansas City to commit to hiring bilingual and bicultural mental health and social service professionals to better serve the needs of various communities.

Over the years , thanks to both private donations as well as public assistance thousands of people's lives have been changed for the better. With these funds, not only were great programs implemented but great leaders and great teachers were brought in. One of those people is Luis Cordova, MS, CSAC II, Mattie Rhodes' Director of Community Programs. Anyone who has met Cordova knows that this guy knows exactly what he's talking about when it comes to mental health and bettering Kansas City's troubled communities.

When meeting Cordova, we instantly saw that his education and experience combined with his passion has driven this former California law enforcement officer turned mental health professional/community director/University of Central Missouri Professor to be the best at what he does.

Unlike a lot of people who we have met that are involved in COMBAT, Cordova's only agenda is bettering youth and bettering Kansas City. He doesn't play the political games that limit progress; not in the least bit. Instead, regardless of whether he's in the roughest of neighborhoods or teaching university students in Warrensburg, Cordova quietly listens to those he knows, meets or teaches and challenges them to think outside of the box, silence their personal prejudices or agendas and open doors that promote unity, education and progress.

His work and the work of many others at The Mattie Rhodes Center is exactly why we encourage you to attend The Brightening Lives, Building Futures Luncheon, Thursday November 12th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The event will be held in the Count Basie Ballroom at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel (200 W. 12th Street) and is open to the public through reservations; please call 816-581-5622 for more information.

There is no charge to attend the luncheon however a fundraising appeal asking attendees to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the agency will be made at the event. Donations made at the event will be matched by the Adelante Fund of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; the Fund will match up to $30,000 in donations.

If you can't make it, go here to donate and help better Kansas City's communities.

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