Christina Casebolt is the Community Manager at JVM’s Eastland Trails Apartments and she is all about “community”. She was nominated by her manager as a candidate for the Apartment Association of Kansas City’s (AAKC) Lyceum program. The program is by nomination only and acceptance is an honor in itself. The AAKC is committed to philanthropy and partners with five charities in the greater Kansas City area. Lyceum nominees choose and devote their time and talent to a charitable project twice a year. No money is provided so all of the accomplishments are through donations and partnerships. This year, Christina’s group chose to work with Synergy. (More information on Synergy below) Her group committed to paint the kitchen and dining room and build a Zen Garden. What happened was transformative and much more than a cosmetic improvement. “It’s amazing what can happen in such little time when the right people make the right phone calls, and share the right spirit,” said Casebolt. The project grew in scope to include new flooring, new ceiling tiles, new furniture, and two new patient quiet rooms.
Synergy helps families in crisis by serving clients of all ages including young children, adolescents and women in unsafe living environments. In addition they work to treat the effects of violence by providing supportive services to struggling families in an effort to prevent violence. Additionally, they focus on community education and social change in an effort to build a safer and more humane society.
Part of the therapy Synergy provides involves taking “thoughtful, mindful steps”, said Casebolt. “When the project began, to me, the idea of a Zen Garden involved sand, benches and rakes. We ended up blending the Zen Garden design to mesh with the attributes of the therapies Synergy provides to patients. Instead of purchasing benches, we made them by hand and embedded patient artwork into hand-crafted concrete benches and wood tables. We got 2 tons of Kansas Flagstone through donations and placed the stones carefully to coincide with the careful, mindful steps patients take in therapy.”
For more information on Synergy, visit, http://www.synergyservices.org/
In addition to the Lyceum program, Christina volunteers at Operation Breakthrough through the AAKC’s Community Outreach program which is a little different than the Lyceum program because it is strictly volunteer work and doesn’t require a nomination. “Operation Breakthrough is very near and dear to my heart,” said Casebolt.
Operation Breakthrough is the largest single-site early education child care and social services facility in the state of Missouri serving over 400 children daily from the urban core. The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment. Operation Breakthrough also strives to support and empower the children's families through advocacy, referral services and emergency aid. For more information on Operation Breakthrough, visit www.operationbreakthrough.org/about.php
“It’s hard to put into words all that Operation Breakthrough does to change lives for the better. Through volunteering, I have been transformed. These experiences have changed my life. I have never worked for a company that is actively engaged in giving back like JVM. JVM encourages me to give back and gives me the opportunity to give back.”
As a result of Christina’s hard work and dedication she was recognized during the event of the Chairman’s awards held on December 2 as the 2015 Volunteer of the Year. Her positive and impactful contribution is testament to what can come of taking full advantage of our JVM Committed to Community programs.