Metro Lutheran Ministry’s mission is to help the homeless and needy of Greater Kansas City. That usually involves efforts such as MLM’s growing housing program, its food pantry or work skills learning center. It also includes some surprises.
Long-time Metro Lutheran Ministry volunteer Alexis Burdick has started an art class that, with the help of a $5,000 grant from the Mader Foundation, has expanded to touch the lives of dozens of children in the Prescott neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
Backed by Metro Lutheran Ministry, the program is set to grow even more. Art Camp is held in Grandview Park Presbyterian Church at 17th and Central. A free, monthly program, it’s a safe place for children to draw, stitch, color and learn.
“I’ve always wanted to have some kind of an art center to give kids a chance to be creative,” Burdick said. “But I wanted to give it for free because a lot of times art centers start up, but then it gets expensive.”
The biggest challenges are often outside the class. For example, a 2-year-old came to the class with a black eye. The grandmother who brought him had already taken steps to care for the child, but such incidents help illustrate that the class can help with more than art.
An Overland Park resident and Shawnee-Mission educator, Burdick stressed that the art program has already received a lot of help. She’s even beginning to dream of opening a larger, more frequent program. “That’s my dream,” she said.
Metro Lutheran Ministry serves homeless youth and adults, senior citizens and families throughout the metropolitan area. For more information, call 816-931-0027 or visit www.mlmkc.org.
- Story from Dale Garrison