MCC students get warm, handmade gifts

Shelby Coxon (from left), Rebecca Collins, Yvette Sweeney, Chris Kelly and Terrell Tigner with donations for MCC students
Shelby Coxon (from left), Rebecca Collins, Yvette Sweeney, Chris Kelly and Terrell Tigner with donations for MCC students

Some MCC students and their families will receive an extra-warm holiday gift basket this year thanks to donations from several groups.

gives4Large boxes of handmade knitted and crocheted blankets, scarves, hats and gloves were delivered to the MCC-Penn Valley campus recently. Included in that delivery were backpacks full of school supplies.

“We already have families and students identified that have a need for such generous and gives2thoughtful donations,”  explained Yvette Sweeney, Penn Valley dean of student development.  She said the campus is working with student groups on several projects, including an “Adopt-A-Family” initiative to ensure the donations go to students who could use some extra help this holiday season.

The donations were made through The Rufus C. and Leola Goff Family Foundation (RCLG),  formed in 2005. The foundation supports the community through multiple platforms including mentoring programs, a drama program, a dance program and health and wellness initiatives. The group’s mission stems from the desire to empower youth and adults through the advancement of social welfare and other community empowerment efforts.

MCC employee Chris Kelly and her husband, Bill, currently oversee activities for the foundation, which is funded by charitable donations and various fundraising events.

Yvette Sweeney (left) with Chris Kelly

In her role as Metropolitan Community College’s supplier diversity program coordinator, Kelly is committed to increasing entrepreneurial engagement and the community’s awareness of multicultural businesses. She works to develop and nourish relationships with diverse suppliers to better serve the College while servicing the community.

While her job keeps her busy, Kelly still finds time to serve the community. The family foundation is one of the many outreach initiatives in which Kelly participates.

“The quilted and knitted items were donated by an individual, and the backpacks were donated from a major organization,” Kelly said. “Knowing that MCC works with students who have true need for items like this, I felt that this would be a perfect opportunity for our family foundation to donate to this worthy cause.”

In 2005, Kelly was inducted into the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City. She has also received numerous awards for her work in the dance ministry. She was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in the Midwest by CEO Magazine and one of the Kansas City Globe’s 100 Most Influential Kansas Citians. Kelly has also been honored as a national recipient of the Charles J. McDonald Minority Advocate of the Year Award.