The Synergy Spotlight
Shining a light on the people and programs powered by your support.
Strong Moms are the Foundation of Healthy Families
As we celebrate Mother's Day, it is fitting to focus our attention this month on the many ways Synergy supports and helps to strengthen the relationship between the mothers we serve and their children. 

We see women who are mothers throughout many of Synergy's programs, from the domestic violence center to our out-patient counseling offices; from our transitional living programs for young families to the teen parent support program. We know that helping these women thrive in their role as mothers is key not only to their happiness and success, but also to the long-term health and well-being of their children and the generations to come.

We support these moms on many levels--providing child care as they get established in new jobs, educating them on parenting and basic life skills, and connecting them with resources for positive child development like Head Start, Parents as Teachers, Easter Seals and Missouri First Steps. 

Few relationships are as formative as that between a mother and child, so it makes sense for both immediate and long-term success, to empower women in their role as a parent. If you are looking for a meaningful way to honor the women in your life this Mother's Day, please consider a gift to Synergy to support and strengthen the struggling mothers in our care. 
Teen Parents Can Thrive with Support
Parenthood is the leading cause of school drop-out for teen girls. Things often go downhill from there for both the young parent and their child, with limited prospects for employment, and little hope for the future.

To address the unique challenges facing teen parents, our Teen Parent Support program helps young parents stay in school and create a stable and self-reliant home life.

During the current school year, we've had 47 teen parents, including nine dads, attend monthly meetings. Despite the odds against them, most participants have already graduated or will be graduating this year and maintaining employment with the help of the teen parent support program. Other outcomes worth noting: 
  • 87% of our teen parents demonstrated improved parenting skills and understanding of their child's development
  • 92% expanded their awareness of resources that support healthy family development
  • 100% who chose to participate in therapy engaged in positive interactions with their children 
Sasha has been in the program for over two years now. She was 15 when she found out she was pregnant and started attending teen parent support meetings at one of the schools we serve. She then started to attend our monthly meetings at the Youth Resiliency Center. 

With the help of Synergy programs that support her with housing and the skills needed to parent and live independently, Sasha has managed to parent, attend school and work full-time. After graduation later this month, she will attend a local university in the fall. 

She and her daughter are thriving and have a positive outlook with every opportunity for success ahead. Sasha's commitment and hard work combined with the caring support she found at Synergy have taken a story all too often marked with despair and a lifetime of living off "the system" and given it all the makings for a happy ending. Thank you for your investment in Synergy and all the clients like Sasha that we serve!
News & Events
Eclektica Salon Gives Moms the Gift of Self Worth
Victims of abuse often have a flawed sense of their beauty and value, and little time or resources for self-care. That's why this early Mother's Day gift of pampering and hair care from Eclektica Salon was so special for the moms at our domestic violence shelter. The stylists showered these women with a morning of delicious food, hair cuts and styling, and goody bags full of product samples. The women were in awe of this rare morning when their needs took center stage, and they got a glimpse of their true beauty. Thank you to  Eclektica Salon for this special gift to the women we serve!

Effort to Connect Parents of LGBTQ Youth Launches 
In any given year, 35-40% of the young people served at our youth campus identify as LGBTQ--which is consistent with national statistics relating to runaway and homeless youth. We want to help local families of LGBTQ youth understand the unique needs and challenges of their loved one, and connect them with other families and support. In doing so, we hope to give families the tools they need to work through their challenges, before reaching the point of a young person needing shelter or other crisis services. Our kick-off event is coming up next week. Please share with anyone you know who may be looking for a way to connect.
Gardening is Good for the 
Heart & Soul
With the arrival of spring, we are excited to launch a new gardening initiative. Our hope is to have gardens at our three shelter locations, to give the children, teens and adults we serve a hands-on opportunity to learn about gardening, nutrition and healthy meal preparation. We're off to a great start at our domestic violence center and youth resiliency center where clients and volunteers have already prepared raised beds and done some initial planting! Added bonus: garden work is great exercise and good for the soul. If you'd like to help us in this effort, please contact Tara Syndergaard.
Mother's Day Donation Drive
Want to help a mom in need this Mother's Day? The Kiwanis Club of Kansas City, Missouri is sponsoring a donation drive at the Barry Road Hy-Vee ( 8301 N St Clair Ave, Kansas City, MO 64151) from 9:00-3:00 on Saturday, May 13. They are collecting baby items and cash to serve moms in need through Synergy.

Help Wanted
Staff resources at Synergy are impossibly stretched. Volunteers help to bridge the gap in serving the 40,000 children, youth, adults and families benifting annually from our many programs. 
Right now, our most pressing need is for help with clerical tasks and child care. 
Robin's Wrap-up
Dear Friends,

For me Mother's Day brings back memories of kids loudly whispering as they brought me breakfast in bed, or a fun family outing, or making brunch shared by several generations of moms and grandmothers. 

But Mother's Day is also a special time to celebrate the impact of motherhood as well as to embrace the importance that mothers play in every child's well-being. Around the world in every culture, the ability of a child to attach successfully to others and to gain the security and independence needed to succeed in life is linked to mothering and motherhood.  

However, in every society mothers are challenged to overcome poverty, homelessness, and abuse to protect their children. In fact pregnancy is also one of the most dangerous times for women. March of Dimes statistics show that 1 out of 6 women are abused during pregnancy. In addition, the Center for Disease Control documents that domestic violence is the second leading cause of maternal death during pregnancy, and more than 50% of homes experiencing domestic violence will also experience child abuse.  It is also daunting to think about how difficult it is for so many women to balance the needs and safety of their children while confronting the consequences of physical or emotional abuse from their intimate partner. 

Therefore, this Mother's Day I invite you to join Synergy in celebrating so many women who realize that not only their own safety but that of their children depends upon them seeking shelter and a new beginning. Mother's Day is a time to celebrate their courage in taking the dangerous, difficult, and painful steps of leaving their abusers and beginning a new life for themselves and their children. We also are grateful that through Synergy's Maternity Group Home and Teen Parent Support Program we are able to provide housing, education, and mentoring to help young mothers have the joy and support needed to make Mother's Day a happy celebration of their family's success.
Thank you for supporting Synergy and enabling us to be there every day for thousands of our community's most vulnerable mothers and children.

Robin Shanberg Winner
Executive Director
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400 E 6th St, Parkville MO 64152