McKinney Vento Homeless Youth Program
Although all of our in-person charitable giving efforts have been set to the back burner during the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to include a blog series for our outreach projects. One of our foundational beliefs is that meaning comes from making a difference. One major benefit of a cohesive community is the readily available labor force that can mobilize to serve the wider community. As humanists, we value the welfare of our fellow humans. It's important that we use our collective power to make the world a better place for all people.
One of the ways Wichita Oasis accomplishes this mission is our partnership with the USD259 McKinney Vento Homeless Education Program.
About the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act is a piece of federal legislation that guarantees students experiencing homelessness or in transition to receive education from their school of origin, even without records verifying residence. At the time of this writing, the USD 259 program serves 2,200 students. The USD 259 office routinely partners with community organizations to collect various items to be handed out to students in the program such as snack bags with non-perishable food items, hygiene kits and backpacks filled with school supplies for elementary, middle and high school students.
Beginning in late 2018, Oasis has partnered with our neighbors Wichita United Church of Christ (formerly Pilgrim Congregational Church) to collect items for snack packs, hygiene kits and school supplies. Between November 2018 and December 2019 Oasis held bi-monthly donation drives and assembled items in either gallon zip lock bags or backpacks.
Each donation drive yielded approximately 30 packs or kits for unhoused or in transition youth in the Wichita area. With our partner UCC, we have donated over 1,000 snack packs along with hygiene kits and backpacks filled with school supplies.
Other Community Efforts
Oasis firmly believes that meaning comes from making a difference and that human hands solve human problems. In the past our organization has participated in multiple charitable causes including volunteering with the Opportunity Zone at the Wichita Children’s Home, mission trip with Mobility Matters, quarterly blood drives, menstrual product drives for the Wichita Women’s Shelter, and crocheting plarn mats for the homeless population.