2020 Scholarship Applications Are Now Available

Updated 1/7/2020

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting scholarship applications for the 2020-2021 school year. CFSEK is home to more than a dozen different scholarship funds established by local residents, businesses, and organizations to help area students pursue a postsecondary education.

Each CFSEK scholarship has its own eligibility requirements. A brief description of the requirements for each is included below. For a full list of all requirements, see each scholarship's application form on the For Scholarships page.

Most applications are due by the end of March, but some must be returned to the Community Foundation by March 15th, and some are returned to organizations other than the Community Foundation. Be sure to read the instructions included in each scholarship application carefully before completing or submitting it.

Good luck, students!

Bill House Hereford Foundation Scholarship

Mr. Swain William (Bill) House had a passion for agriculture and the cattle industry and wanted young people to have an opportunity to earn a career in agriculture. His legacy will continue through the Bill House Hereford Foundation Scholarship Fund, established to support students pursing an agricultural-related degree.

Basic Eligibility

  • Major: Applicants must be majoring in an agricultural field of study, such as agribusiness, agricultural economics, agricultural education, animal sciences, conservation, feed science, veterinary medicine, or another similar major.
  • GPA: Recipients are required to have earned a 2.5 or higher GPA at the time of application and for the first semester of college study to receive funds for the second semester.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 15.

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Commerce Bank Scholarship

The Commerce Bank-Pittsburg Scholarship is awarded to one graduating senior each from St. Mary’s Colgan High School and Pittsburg High School. The student must be pursuing further education by enrolling full time at a 4-year college or university.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduating senior of St. Mary’s Colgan High School or Pittsburg High School.
  • GPA: Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 and a minimum ACT of 23.
  • Enrollment status: Applicant must be planning to enroll full time at a 4-year college or university.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received or postmarked no later than March 31.

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Craig Crespino Memorial Scholarship

The Craig Crespino Scholarship was established in 2006 in memory of Craig Crespino, a successful educator and high school coach. The many donors who have given to the fund hoped help keep Coach Crespino’s spirit alive by recognizing students who demonstrate the potential to follow in his footsteps.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduating senior of Girard High School or St. Mary’s Colgan High School.
  • GPA: The student must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4-point scale.
  • Enrollment status: The student must carry a minimum of 12 hours each semester in an academic program.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than March 31.

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Daniel & Jeannette Minnis Oral Health Scholarship

The Dr. Daniel and Mrs. Jeannette Minnis Oral Health Scholarship was established in 2008 in honor of the Minnis’ commitment to improving the health and well being of citizens of southeast Kansas.

Basic Eligibility

  • Enrollment status: Applicants must be third-year students enrolled in the pre-dental program at Pittsburg State University.
  • GPA: The student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Need: The student must exhibit financial need.
  • Volunteering: The student must be willing to volunteer 10 hours per semester at the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Dental Clinic or at Accent Dental Clinic.
  • Deadline: Applications must be delivered electronically, hand-delivered, or postmarked no later than March 31.

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Get Busy Livin' Scholarship

The Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation was established in 2011 to provide support for individuals or groups that embody the values that Dylan pursued: adventure, fitness, curiosity, generosity and a daily zest for life. Scholarships will be awarded to high school graduating seniors attending Pittsburg, St. Mary’s Colgan, Frontenac, Girard, Northeast, or Southeast high schools that have shown through their actions excellence in academics, school and community involvement, athletics, or the arts, and a general desire to create self character and leadership.

In addition to receiving a GBL Scholarship, some recipients will be selected to be the GBL Volunteer Abroad representatives to travel internationally during the summer following graduation. The individuals will participate in the Cross Cultural Solutions High School Volunteer Abroad Program.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduating high school senior currently attending Frontenac, Girard, Northeast, Pittsburg, St. Mary's Colgan or Southeast.
  • Enrollment status: Applicant will be required to carry a minimum of 12 hours each semester in an academic program.
  • GPA: The student must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than March 15.

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Haberbosch Family Scholarship

Several members of the Haberbosch family lived and grew up in Moran, KS and graduated from Marmaton Valley High School (MVHS). It was the wish of Audrey Haberbosch Ellmer, 1948 graduate of MVHS, to establish a scholarship to carry on the family name. The Haberbosch Family Scholarship shall be awarded to two graduating seniors of Marmaton Valley High School in Moran, KS.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be graduating seniors at Marmaton Valley High School in Moran, Kansas.
  • GPA: Recipients are required to have earned a 3.5 GPA at the time of application. In addition, a successful applicant must earn at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for the first semester of college study to receive funds for the second semester.
  • Enrollment status: Applicants must show acceptance into a university or community college program at the time of application.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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Joe & Margarita Sauer Scholarship

The purpose of the Joe & Margarita Sauer scholarship is to provide $1,000 in scholarship(s) to selected Girard High School graduating senior(s) pursuing higher education who have shown excellence in academics, school and community involvement, athletics, or fine art achievements.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduating senior at Girard High School, Girard, KS.
  • Enrollment status: Recipients are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester in an academic program. Recipients must provide proof of enrollment prior to release of funds.
  • GPA: Recipients must maintain a 2.5 or higher cumulative grade point average for the first semester of college study to receive funds for the second semester.
  • Application format: All applications must be typed.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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Larry & Regina Weaver Scholarship

Larry and Regina, PSU alumni, dedicated their careers to education. Regina retired after a 30 year career as an educator with USD 250, and Larry was a 20-year PSU employee as an application developer. This scholarship seeks applicants who have shown excellence in academics, school and community involvement, and service to others. Preference will be given to those who have demonstrated caring and compassion toward others.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be graduating seniors from Pittsburg High School or St. Mary's Colgan High School.
  • Enrollment status: Applicants must enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester in an academic program at Pittsburg State University.
  • GPA: Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or above. They must also maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher during the first semester to receive funds for the second semester.
  • Application format: All applications must be typed.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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M.L. (Lee) & Noretta Caldwell Education Fund Scholarships

The M.L. (Lee) & Noretta Caldwell Education Fund offers three distinct scholarship programs, one each for students of Fort Scott Community College, Labette Community College, and Neosho County Community College.

Basic Eligibility

  • Residency: Applicants should be from southeast Kansas, with preference to students from Neosho County School District #101 (Erie & St. Paul); Crawford County (Girard, Southeast, Northeast, Frontenac, excluding Pittsburg); and students from Labette and Bourbon County. Students from Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma may also apply.
  • Field of study: Applicants must be pursuing a degree program studying business, science, technology, or teaching.
  • GPA: Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5. A minimum GPA of 2.5 in the previous semester is required for renewal of funds.
  • Need: Financial need will be considered in awarding the scholarship.
  • Application submission and deadline: Applications must be submitted to the LCC Foundation, FSCC Foundation, or NCCC Foundation, as appropriate, by March 31.

Return to Table of Contents

Pat Forbes Scholarship

The Pat Forbes Scholarship was established in 2005 by students, colleagues, and friends of Pat Forbes upon his retirement as principal and former teacher and coach at St. Mary’s-Colgan High School. This scholarship opportunity provides scholarships to encourage and support postsecondary education at an accredited postsecondary educational institution.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be graduating seniors of St. Mary’s Colgan High School.
  • GPA: Applicants must have earned at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA.
  • ACT score: Applicants must have scored at least a 25 on the ACT.
  • Exclusion: The class valedictorian is not eligible for this scholarship.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than March 31.

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Short Fine Arts Scholarship

The Short Fine Arts Scholarship was established in 2007 in memory of Nicholas and John Patrick Short. This scholarship opportunity is designed to encourage young people in their pursuit of artistic excellence at the college level.

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduating senior of Pittsburg High School located in Crawford County, Kansas.
  • Major or minor: Applicants must be planning to major or minor in the arts, art education, or an art-technology field. Examples of qualifying programs include studio art, illustration, vocal or instrumental music, theatre, dance, graphic design, and photography. First preference will be given to students majoring in such a program.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than March 31.

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Stacy Goedeke Memorial Scholarship

Stacy Goedeke was raised on a small farm in southeast Kansas. When she was not in school, she participated in various 4-H activities. In 2008 she graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Milling Science. The value of hard work that Stacy learned on the farm was evident in the way she approached her career. Stacy wanted to be the best she could be no matter what challenge was in her path. She worked tirelessly toward that goal until her unexpected death in 2017 at the age of 31.

During her life, Stacy always felt that the objective criteria used by most scholarships caused students with non-classroom skills to be overlooked. She believed that students should be rewarded for investing time not only in school, but also for engaging in and improving their world through community outreach programs such as church and 4-H. Objective standards also ignore students who are committed to earning their college degrees despite enduring adversities not generally faced by college students, such as the death of a close relative, medical or mental illness, or substantial economic hardship.

This scholarship was created to honor the memory of Stacy Goedeke.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be a graduate of a Kansas high school.
  • Enrollment status: Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time or part-time at Kansas State University with a declared major of Milling Science.
  • Priority considerations: Preference may be given to students satisfying additional criteria. Please review the scholarship application for more details.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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Tyler Jeck Scholarship

The Tyler R. Jeck Scholarship was established in 2012 to continue Tyler’s dream of helping others in his memory. Tyler, a well-respected and much-loved 2010 graduate, attended St. Mary’s Colgan from Kindergarten through graduation.

This scholarship recognizes students who have maintained a 3.0 GPA, been involved in at least one school co-curricular activity each semester for two years, and reflect the shared values with Tyler of friendship, acceptance of others, faithfulness, academic drive, and responsibility toward one’s family, friends, school, church and community.

Basic Eligibility

  • GPA: Applicants must have mantained at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Activities: Applicants must have been involved in at least one school co-curricular activity each semester for two years.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than March 31.

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Vinylplex, Inc. Scholarship Application

Bill Coleman was a proponent of education and his community. As the former President of Vinylplex, Inc., he established the Vinylplex Scholarship Fund to encourage and support the children of Vinylplex employees and students residing in the Pittsburg area to pursue postsecondary education.

Basic Eligibility

  • Residency: Applicants must be residents of Pittsburg or the surrounding area.
  • GPA: Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA at the time of application.
  • Enrollment status: Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll in an accredited postsecondary educational institution at the time of application.
  • Preference: If all applicants are equal based on eligibility criteria, then preference will be given to the children of Vinylplex employees.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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William J. Sollner Family Scholarship

William “Bill” J. Sollner was a 1943 graduate of Crawford County Community High School. Following training as a naval aviator and time in the naval reserve ready, Bill’s life was filled as a “teacher, journalist, playwright, puppeteer, and gadfly”. Bill returned to Arma in 1991 where he lived until his death in 2017.

The purpose of the William J. Sollner scholarship is to provide Northeast High School students who have talent and initiative but may not have financial resources to pursue a degree. Scholarship funds will be distributed from the William J. Sollner Family Scholarship Fund through the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be graduates of Northeast High school USD #246.
  • GPA: Applicants must have earned a GPA of 2.5 or higher in high school. In addition, recipients must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA for the fall semester or will not receive the scholarship the following semester.
  • Enrollment status: Applicants must be enrolled full time in an academic or vocational program in an accredited institution of higher learning. Recipients must provide proof of enrollment prior to release of funds.
  • Application format: All applications must be typed.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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William F. Lehman American History Scholarship

The William F. Lehman American History Scholarship is awarded to a recent or past Bourbon County High School graduate. The student must be attending or planning to attend an accredited institution of higher learning as a full time student majoring in history with an emphasis in American history.

Basic Eligibility

  • High school: Applicants must be graduates of a high school located in Bourbon County, Kansas.
  • Enrollment status: Recipients will be required to carry a minimum of 12 hours each semester in an academic program.
  • Major: Applicants must be majoring or planning to major in history with an emphasis in American history.
  • GPA: Applicants must have earned at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA in high school, and recipients must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  • Deadline: Applications must be postmarked, delivered electronically, or hand delivered no later than March 31.

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Our Winter 2019 Newsletter Has Arrived!

Match Day donors in front of CFSEK background

The CFSEK Winter 2019 Newsletter is now available! What you'll find in this issue: 

Want to receive our newsletter via email?

If you're interested in receiving updates via email, please sign up for our newsletter, grant-notification, or other email lists.

If you've already signed up and would like to update which mailing lists you're subscribed to, check out the bottom of any emails you've received from us through Constant Contact for a link to update your profile. 


Today is Match Day 2019!

Match Day 2019 participating organization logos.

Good news! The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) is hosting Match Day 2019!

Today, Tuesday, December 3, a one-day event celebrating charitable giving on National Giving Tuesday, the Community Foundation is providing $35,000 to match gifts made to participating agencies' and organizations' CFSEK endowed funds. The match for each fund will be prorated on a percentage basis, not to exceed 20% of the total match amount.

All donations to an organization or agency, plus the match amount from the Community Foundation, will be placed in the organization's or agency's endowment fund held by CFSEK. These endowment funds are invested to produce present and future income annually for distributions to be used for operating and programming expenses or special projects.

How you can donate today

You have three options for contributing to Match Day:

  1. Deliver your donation in person to the CFSEK office today, December 3. Our office is located in the basement of the Commerce Bank building in Pittsburg. Our address is 100 S. Broadway St., Ste. 100, Pittsburg. We will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
  2. Donate online today, December 3. We have updated our Donate Today page to highlight our Match Day partners. Select one of the Match Day organizations in the dropdown list and click the "Donate" button under "Option 2." Then, you'll be taken to PayPal's website to complete your transaction using a credit or debit card or PayPal.
  3. Mail a check with a postmark of no later than December 4. You can mail your check to us at P.O. Box 1448 in Pittsburg. Make your check payable to the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas and write the name of the participating organization you want to donate to in the memo line.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, meaning that your donations are tax-deductible. Donation receipts will be mailed or emailed to you, and you can choose to make your donation anonymously.

Organizations participating in Match Day 2019

For Match Day 2019, we have a record 24 local nonprofit organizations participating. They are:

  • Angels Among Us
  • Chicopee Foundation
  • Family Resource Center
  • Food Security Fund (Wesley House)
  • Frontenac Education Foundation
  • Healthcare Access for All
  • Homer Cole Community Center
  • J.L. Hutchinson Baseball League
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Miners Hall Museum
  • Mount Carmel Foundation
  • Northeast USD 246 Education Foundation
  • Pittsburg Beautiful
  • Pittsburg Family YMCA (Memberships and Youth Programs)
  • Pittsburg Public Library
  • Pittsburg USD 250 Educational Foundation
  • SEK Humane Society
  • SEK Interlocal #637
  • SEK Women Helping Women
  • Southeast Kansas Symphony
  • St. Mary's Colgan Catholic Schools
  • The Lord's Diner
  • The Salvation Army (Senior Programs)
  • United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas

How to learn more

To learn more about Match Day, check out our mid-November post about Match Day, call us at (620) 231-8897, send us a message on Facebook or stop by our office in the basement of the Commerce Bank building.


Match Day 2019 is coming soon!

Match Day 2019 participating organization logos.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) invites you to participate in its fourth annual Match Day on December 3, National Giving Tuesday. The Community Foundation has set aside $35,000 to match gifts made to 24 local nonprofit organizations with CFSEK endowed funds. Those 24 organizations will receive a prorated match out of the match funds based on total donations received, up to 20% of the total match amount.

By participating in Match Day 2019, you help support these 24 local nonprofits and the southeast Kansas communities they serve for years to come. Whether you can give only a little or a lot, your donation matters!

Learn more about Match Day below.

What is Match Day?

Every year since 2016, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas has hosted Match Day to celebrate National Giving Tuesday on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Match Day is an exciting fundraising opportunity that gives participating nonprofits the chance to grow their endowed funds held with the Community Foundation. All Match Day donations and match amounts are placed in the nonprofits' CFSEK endowed funds. Endowed funds are invested to produce present and future income for distributions that can be used for our partners' operating expenses, programming, and special projects.

Counting all three Match Days from 2016 through 2018, the event has provided more than $400,000 in total funds for the Community Foundation's nonprofit partners. Community support for Match Day has always been phenomenal, and, with more Match Day partner organizations than ever before, we look forward to that trend continuing this year!

How are match amounts determined?

Each participating nonprofit's endowed fund is entitled to 100% of the donations made to that nonprofit, plus a prorated match out of the $35,000 match pool based on total donations received, but subject to a 20% limit. For example, if one participating organization receives 10% of all Match Day donations, then it will get 10% of the match pool ($3,500). If an organization receives 35% of all Match Day donations, then it will get 20% of the match pool ($7,000). 

What organizations are participating?

For Match Day 2019, we have a record 24 local nonprofit organizations participating. They are:

  • Angels Among Us: Angels Among Us is an organization of volunteers who raise funds to provide for the area's cancer patients by helping them with outstanding financial needs, such as rent, utilities, and medication. 
  • Chicopee Foundation: The Chicopee Foundation supports the maintenance, repair, and upkeep of the Chicopee Community Center for civic and social activities.
  • Family Resource Center: The Center provides children between the ages of birth and 12 years with a safe and caring atmosphere that promotes physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. 
  • Food Security Fund (Wesley House): The Food Security Fund Endowment supports the Wesley House Food Bank in Pittsburg.
  • Frontenac Education Foundation: The Frontenac Education Foundation Endowment supports scholarships for Frontenac High School seniors and supplies library books, computers, and other educational materials and equipment for FHS students.
  • Healthcare Access for All: The Healthcare Access for All Endowment benefits patients of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas by providing access to healthcare services to the uninsured and underserved population in our area.
  • Homer Cole Community Center: The Homer Cole Community Center provides facilities and programs to enhance the welfare of the population of Pittsburg, Kansas; to share information; and to offer various social, educational, and cultural activities.
  • J.L. Hutchinson Baseball League: The J.L. Hutchinson Baseball League promotes and facilitates the playing of youth-league recreational baseball in Pittsburg, Kansas. The overarching goal is to use the game of baseball to teach and encourage outstanding sportsmanship and citizenship among its youth participants.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters: Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
  • Miners Hall Museum: The Miners Hall Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing Southeast Kansas coal-mining history and its diverse immigrant culture.
  • Mount Carmel Foundation: The Mount Carmel Foundation secures and extends financial resources to the operation, maintenance, facilities, and services of Ascension Via Christi Pittsburg and contributes to healthcare and maintenance of the people of Southeast Kansas and the surrounding region.
  • Northeast USD 246 Education Foundation: The Northeast USD 246 Education Foundation works to enhance the education of USD 246 youth.
  • Pittsburg Beautiful: Pittsburg Beautiful is a citizen's group with a common interest in contributing to enhance and beautify the City of Pittsburg. The group is responsible for landscaping throughout Pittsburg.
  • Pittsburg Family YMCA (Memberships and Youth Programs): The Pittsburg YMCA Jack Bache Fund for Scholarships is an endowed fund that provides scholarship assistance for YMCA memberships and youth programs, promoting healthy activity and enrichment opportunities.
  • Pittsburg Public Library: The Pittsburg Public Library provides free access to ideas, materials, and services that support the cultural, educational, and recreational enrichment of the community. 
  • Pittsburg USD 250 Educational Foundation: The USD 250 Educational Foundation promotes excellence of educational opportunities for all students through enhancement of school facilities, services, and programs.
  • SEK Humane Society: The SEK Humane Society rescues homeless and endangered pets in our area. Its mission is to eliminate animal suffering, promote the importance of the human-animal bond, educate individuals regarding pet responsibility and respect, and aim toward reducing pet overpopulation through an aggressive spay/neuter program.
  • SEK Interlocal #637: SEK Interlocal #637 provides special education and related services to students enrolled in 13 Southeast Kansas school districts.
  • SEK Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother's Fund: SEK Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother's Fund offers financial assistance with grants of up to $500 to help women in our area with one-time needs that cannot be met by existing agencies.
  • Southeast Kansas Symphony: The William J. Sollner Memorial Endowment Fund supports the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra music and education program.
  • St. Mary's Colgan Catholic Schools: St. Mary's Colgan, a ministry of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, assists parents in teaching the Catholic faith in an environment that challenges students academically, expects high standards of Christian behavior and stewardship, and cultivates the development of the whole person.
  • The Lord's Diner: The Lord's Diner serves an evening meal 365 days a year. A small paid staff, assisted by more than 800 volunteers representing many faiths and denominations, prepare and serve a hot, nutritious meal in a spirit of compassion, respect, and loving service.
  • The Salvation Army (Senior Programs): The Salvation Army Endowed Fund supports the Salvation Army of Pittsburg's Senior Programming Services provided to Crawford County residents over the age of 55.
  • United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas: United Way fights for the education, health, and financial stabilities of every person in every community. United Way mobilizes the caring power of communities to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.

How can you contribute?

You have three options for contributing to Match Day:

  1. Deliver your donation in person to the CFSEK office on or before December 3. Our office is located in the basement of the Commerce Bank building in Pittsburg. Our address is 100 S. Broadway St., Ste. 100, Pittsburg.
  2. Donate online on December 3. We will be updating our Donate Today page to highlight our Match Day partners. Select one of the Match Day organizations in the dropdown list and click the "Donate" button under "Option 2." Then, you'll be taken to PayPal's website to complete your transaction.
  3. Mail a check with a postmark of no later than December 4. You can mail your check to us at P.O. Box 1448 in Pittsburg.

Want to learn more?

You can call us at (620) 231-8897 or send us a message on Facebook to learn more. (While you're at it, why not follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest?) You can also stop by our office at 100 S. Broadway, Suite 100, Pittsburg, Kansas (in the basement of the Commerce Bank building).


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Photograph of a woman beneath a purple sky at sunset.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (NDVAM). Although the first NDVAM was more than 30 years ago, domestic violence remains a serious problem throughout the United States, including right here in southeast Kansas.

Fortunately, our region is well-served by several nonprofit organizations committed to educating the public about domestic violence and empowering victims to escape from abusive relationships and begin the road to recovery. This post provides some basic information about domestic violence with links to further resources, including links to local, regional, and national organizations that can help victims and survivors of domestic violence.

What is domestic violence?

Often when people hear the phrase domestic violence, they think of physical abuse. But that understanding is too narrow. The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence explains that domestic violence is “a pattern of abusive and coercive behavior used to gain dominance, power, and control over an intimate partner.”

That includes physical violence, but other behaviors are often a part of that pattern, too. According to Rebecca Brubaker, executive director of Safehouse Crisis Center, domestic violence is a progressive crime. That means that an abuser’s behavior tends to get worse over time, rather than starting out as physical abuse.

For example, what may begin as emotional abuse, like name-calling or gaslighting, may develop into intimidation, threats, or destruction of property, and only later escalate to physical or sexual violence.

What are the impacts of domestic violence?

Like the definition of domestic violence, the consequences of domestic violence are broader than many people may realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), domestic violence “is a major public health problem affecting millions of people in the United States each year.” A 2015 CDC report found the following impacts, among others:

  • Fear or concern about safety.
  • One or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Physical injuries, including injuries requiring medical attention.
  • A need for housing, victim-advocacy, or legal services.
  • Missing at least one day of work or school.

How common is domestic violence in southeast Kansas?

Figuring out exactly how common domestic violence is can be tricky. Between 2013 and 2017 (the last year for which statistics are available), Kansas police reported an average of nearly 23,000 incidents of domestic violence each year to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).

Of those, more than 1,300 were reported during the typical year in the 11 southeast-Kansas counties served by Safehouse Crisis Center and Hope Unlimited.

But the KBI’s figures only include incidents that were reported by victims to police, and then by police to the KBI. And according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, just over half of domestic-violence incidents are ever reported to police.

That means that the real figure is likely much higher than the number reported by the KBI. In fact, the CDC estimates that more than 1 in 3 women, and about 1 in 3 men, “experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.”

Resources for victims of domestic violence

Being the victim of domestic violence can leave a person feeling afraid, isolated, and trapped. Fortunately, a nationwide network of victim-advocacy organizations has developed over the last few decades to educate the public about domestic violence and provide support for victims. Those organizations include:

Local resources

Regional resources

National resources