In this past school year, at least seven Kansas City Public School kids have been injured by gunfire and five recent graduates have been shot and killed.
There are so many layers of injustice in that statistic that it hurts. Maybe what gets me the worst is that it’s just a statistic. If these numbers were true of a non-urban school it would not be a statistic that could be dismissed and overlooked, there would be an outcry. But in KC when gun violence happens we just call it par for the course.
The damaging effect of normalizing violence is that it radically alters dreams. It dampens them, puts a ceiling on what’s possible.
UCA exists to demolish the ceiling. To spark hope.
It costs nothing for things to stay the same. Statistics simply pile up and society will shield most of us from the damaging effects of apathy. Our goal here isn’t to guilt you into action, that would be shallow and short lived. However, without the action of those who have the privilege to read statistics, UCA scholars get closer and closer to simply becoming one.
We’re out of space. We are tearing out our kitchen to make room for 5th grade. It’s our version of a Hail Mary. What’s even more daunting though is the funding piece. $768,000 is the need. We’re 20% there. There’s a long way to go. The scholars know that. There’s an urgency that surrounds our funding because kids know exactly what the stakes are. They have cousins and neighbors who go to public schools. They are motivated to do whatever it takes for UCA to keep growing.
So they came up with Golden Jet. It’s not their Hail Mary. It’s their heart and it’s pure gold (no pun intended). They want to contribute. They want to change the world and they think paper airplanes and art can do just that.
And here’s where my eyes get teary. They are looking at us asking if it’s okay to dream. They are asking if they are worth the investment. They are asking if they really are capable of changing the world. And the answers lie within us.
I’m in no way suggesting that you buying a subscription to a paper airplane and art club is the solution to the enormous issues that plague our city. I’m not suggesting that you signing up will change a kid’s life forever. But I am asking two things:
Will you find where Jesus is and illuminate His endless beauty with the resources He’s given you? Sin has wreaked havoc on communities all over the world. The UCA neighborhood is not the only place in need of champions. I hope that as Jesus followers we are people who care. People who don’t sit silent.
Will you be one of the people to jump on board for the kids at UCA so they are free to dream instead of becoming a statistic? The continued growth of our vision is dependent on it. Golden Jet is a mutually beneficial way for you to jump on board. We really hope you’ll consider joining the Golden Jet family.
So there’s our plug. There is a need and a nine year old dreamer and an actionable way for you to make an investment towards a solution. The solution isn’t UCA, it’s the scholars, the dreamers, themselves. We’re confident of this. It’s why I’m a charter member of the Golden Jet Club. I hope you’ll join me.