An Inside Look at the KC Chamber’s Centurions Program: reStartPosted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 by Kristen Leathers-Gratton
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I’ve been participating in the KC Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program since September 2020. In November, taskforce events were paused due to COVID and the inability to meet in-person. However, we continued the work with our committees. Our taskforce efforts resumed with virtual events in May with the potential for in-person, small group gatherings. Though the Chamber has made some changes, the program’s foundation and primary focus has stayed the same – leadership through community service.
Every year, Centurions are challenged to perform 20 hours of community service. A portion of that time is given to the Legacy Committee’s project. This time, we decided to support a local non-profit, reStart. Faced with a growing homeless population, their demand is increasing exponentially. This is due in large part to the effects of the pandemic and evictions.
Despite the pause in Centurions, the Legacy Committee, of which I am a member, has continued working with the organization as they roll out their advocacy program, reStart University. The goal is to raise awareness about homelessness in the area and promote their initiatives. They hope to empower local organizations and leaders to become ambassadors and advocates through their six-part educational series.
In honor of their 40th anniversary, reStart is also challenging organizations and individuals to donate time, money, and goods over the course of the year. As part of their Fight Forward campaign, they have assigned a donation item to each month. They are asking community partners and companies to give 40 things from within that category to meet their growing need. In addition to the donation drive, our committee helped host a virtual event with legislators and participated in a legislative day in Jefferson City. Each of these was an opportunity to educate decision makers on the truths about our homeless population and offer insight as to how legislators can help.