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Community Treats Job Corps Students for Holidays

Ladies with LIFT Gym in Excelsior Springs are pictured with donations for students at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps for holidays
Members of the LIFT Gym in Excelsior Springs pose with donations for students at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps. Submitted photo.

The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center staff does a great job of making the holidays special for the students that stay on Center over the holidays, knowing that those students don’t have a family or home to go back to. This year, several staff members from the operations department were determined to bring the students a Christmas Day surprise that they wouldn’t forget. Their community and business partners answered the call with an outpouring of generosity, making their holidays a little brighter.

Josh Curtis, UAW 249 Motorcycle Committee Chairman and Chrissy Kline, UAW 249 Treasurer pose for a picture after giving donations to the Excelsior Springs Job Corps center students for the holidays. Photo submitted.

Members of the United Auto Workers Union Local 249 out of Pleasant Valley, MO adopted students staying on Center. They took the student wish lists and didn’t miss a detail, down to salt and vinegar potato chips and Sketchers! UAW 249 Treasurer Chrissy Kline stated, “I didn’t grow up with a lot so I know how it feels. we want to make others happy.”

After inquiring on how she could help, L.I.F.T. Ladies Improving Fitness Together Owner Jessica Quesenberry was eager to get involved. Her large tribe of local women wanted to give to those in the community and bring sunshine to them. In the past they have had gift exchanges with the members of the gym but this year they chose to adopt the students at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps. In addition to their gifts, Quesenberry has also offered her new online training program to all students and access for female students to attend the local L.I.F.T. gym.

The faith community also got involved with Morning Star Baptist Church in Kansas City’s congregation members donating new clothing items. The First United Methodist Church of Excelsior Springs, where ESJCC staff members Theresa Moyer and Rebecca Kiehl are members, voted to donate funds collected by church members to the students for holiday gifts.

On Christmas Day all of the donated gifts and gift cards were moved to the cafeteria. Each student had an assigned table with their name on it. The students arrived in the cafeteria at 3pm where Christmas music was playing. All of the students and staff were singing and dancing. New clothes were modeled, makeup was applied, and students gladly wore their new Chiefs clothing. All of the students received treats, toiletries, and general hygiene products. They also received gifts that ranged from books, gel pens, winter clothing, shoes, and blankets. After a holiday meal, the students expressed their thanks saying, “We feel so spoiled and rich!”

Pizza Party for Excelsior Springs Job Corps students for New Year's Eve

ESJCC staff members also donated gift cards and cash to put toward holiday gifts for the students. Dr. Christy Wilkerson of Crossroads Animal Hospital in Liberty worked in collaboration with Dubious Claims Brewing Company to host a New Year’s Eve Pizza Party, too.

UAW Member Organizer for Region 4 Amy Minich said, “The world is a better place when we help each other. I’m only here for a short time, but I intend to leave an impact on the way out.”

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