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KHF Selects Village Initiative as Community Keepers Grant Recipient

November 5, 2021

Media Contact Ashley Brunhoeber, (316) 491-8414 or (800) 373-7681

WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) has selected Village Initiative to receive its Community Keepers Grant, a $50,0000 contribution earmarked for a Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino, People of Color-led nonprofit organization doing important work benefitting Communities of Color.

KHF received 41 nominations from across the state that were evaluated by an external review team made up of diverse Kansans. Village Initiative was nominated by Desiree Monize, executive director and CEO of Avenue of Life, an organization working to break the cycle of poverty through community development in the Kansas City Metro area and works with Village Initiative.

Village Initiative is a state-approved addiction counseling and treatment center with licensed counselors and a close working relationship with Wyandotte County courts. This work has motivated the organization to try and prevent the further incarceration of at-risk youth and non-violent offenders by providing proactive intervention, collaboration and wrap-around services. The organization’s mission is to help returning citizens and their families rebuild their lives as they reintegrate into society to become productive citizens.

“We were moved by Village Initiative’s work to improve the lives of returning citizens and not only help them reintegrate into society, but to work upstream to prevent the further incarceration of at-risk youth and non-violent offenders by providing them with necessary interventions,” said Teresa Miller, KHF president and CEO. “We were also impressed by the work and leadership of Randy George, and that this organization is working in the trenches providing services in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas’s urban core.”

In her nomination, Monize said, “Randy George, executive director of Village Initiative, is a Black leader with a long-standing and respected history of serving and impacting Communities of Color. With this funding, Village Initiative’s proven model would be empowered to provide transformative services to hundreds of Kansas families from Communities of Color.”

“We’re so honored that the Kansas Health Foundation has selected us for this grant,” said Randy George, Village Initiative executive director. “KHF is noticing what we are needing and is willing to help make a difference in our community to bring about change.”

Learn more about this nonprofit organization by visiting its website, here.

Watch KHF’s e-news and social media for more information about additional nominees.

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About the Kansas Health Foundation

The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.

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