During the weekly meeting of the County Legislature Monday, November 21, County Executive Mike Sanders presented a check to Operation Breakthrough co-founder Sister Berta Sailor for $16,500. The money was raised through the County Executive Charity Golf Tournament held September 9.
Sanders took the opportunity to thank the organization for its service to the community and reminded everyone to "think about the people all around us who need our help."
"As we reach the season of Thanksgiving, I think it's important that we thank the people like Sister Berta and organizations like Operation Breakthrough who lend a helping hand," Sanders said. "Sister Berta has dedicated 40 years of her life to Operation Breakthrough."
Operation Breakthrough opened in 1971 to provide child care for poor working families in Kansas City's urban core. The not-for-profit agency began with 50 kids. In the four decades since, Operation Breakthrough has expanded to serve more than 600 children daily, while providing a wide range of social services -- in addition to operating pre-school as well as before- and after-school programs.
"Twenty-five percent of those children are homeless or near homeless as described under Missouri law," Sanders noted. "One in four."
Difficult economic times have increased the need for the services Operation Breakthrough and other similar agencies provide. The $16,500 raised through the County Executive Golf Tournament will quickly be put to good use.
"Families are having a harder and harder time," Sister Berta pointed out. "This will certainly help us get a lot of emergency services to those families in need."
The Jackson County Executive Charity Golf Tournament is held every year at the Fred Arbanas Golf Course, with all proceeds being raised through entry fees, contests and an auction going to benefit Operation Breakthrough. Sanders thanked all of those who participated in this year's tournament as well as the county employees and other volunteers who donated their time to organize and operate the tournament.
In once more thanking Sister Berta and Operation Breakthrough for helping thousands of children and families, Sanders cited a famous quote from Winston Churchill: "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Sanders added, "I think that typifies Sister Berta and Operation Breakthrough in terms of what they've given and done for so many people for over two generations."