Dear Friends and Supporters of StandUp,
As you may know, StandUp was the dream of co-founders Carol Journagan and David Wright, and has enjoyed 14 years of community support, enhancing the lives of our citizens through programs like Dental for Kids which provides free dental care and management to the under-insured and low-income population, with over $660,000 donated in services to our families. Sparkle Smile Academy provides oral health care education to pre-K - 2nd graders. The much loved annual Princess Party and generous corporate donations served as the major fundraisers for these programs.
StandUp enjoyed nonprofit status and was recipient of several community awards recognizing it as a leader in community affairs. Partnerships were made with the City of Blue Springs and Blue Springs School District, and summits were held to hear the voices of our citizens and community business partners. Developments like the Off-Leash Dog Park and Disc Golf Park were realized. In 2010 StandUp was asked by Mayor Carson Ross to facilitate a community-wide Let's Move! initiative. From this grew the Kids Triathlon, Community Gardens, Livable Streets Resolution, and Let's Move! Saturdays. Thousands of citizens have benefited from the programs and initiatives managed by StandUp.
In the last few years StandUp launched a pilot program for graduating at-risk youth not planning to attend college. This program mentored these youths while providing connections to meaningful employment resources through a network of area businesses. While this program was successfully received, and deemed a needed resource for area youth, adequate funding for StandUp was unable to be met.
In these times of increased financial challenge, StandUp's Board of Directors has deemed it necessary to find new homes for its programs and close its doors. The following organizations have graciously welcomed these programs.
1. Dental for Kids A rise in dental care availability has come through Medicaid in Eastern Jackson County. D4K clients not currently on Medicaid are encouraged to seek assistance through area dentists or from other programs, as well as ask health care professionals for direction.
2. Sparkle Smile Academy This program teaches children the importance of oral health and reaches over 1500 children yearly. Each child receives information and toothbrush supplies to take home. This program is still seeking a new home.
3. Princess Party This will continue and be hosted by the Career Technology Student Organizations (CTSO) at Blue Springs South High School. It will be the same fabulous Princess Party with a new face. The 2016 event was recently held and deemed a success. Watch for the 2017 event next fall.
4. Let's Move! Saturdays This program has enjoyed great success and is free to the community, encouraging families and individuals to make fun activities a part of their healthy lifestyle. It has been adopted by the City of Blue Springs Parks & Rec Dept.
5. Coalition for Kids Healthy Foundations. This is a backpack program for middle school and high school students who are food insecure on weekends. The program will continue through participating church partners.
6. Game Plan for Life This program is for at-risk youth graduating high school but who do not plan to attend college. This program is still seeking a new home.
It is with a heavy sigh the Board of Directors has made this final decision to retire StandUp's goals and mission to the citizens of Eastern Jackson County, closing its website, emails and final obligations by November 30, 2016.
The StandUp Board and Staff say Thank You to all our friends, partners, businesses, supporters, and volunteers for the years of service and friendship you have provided. Especially at this time of year, we are thankful for all of you and wish everyone the best.