Home Animal volunteer Topeka is part of A Community Thrives’ annual fundraising campaign

Topeka is part of A Community Thrives’ annual fundraising campaign


Several Northeast Kansas nonprofits have been chosen to participate in A Community Thrives, an annual fundraising campaign.

Helping Hands Humane Society, Topeka Common Ground, Topeka Genealogical Society, Topeka Performing Arts Center Inc., and Veronica’s Voice, of Kansas City, Kan., are the five community organizations that will have the chance to receive a share of $2 million in grants, which will be distributed among organizations nationwide.

A Community Thrives is a grantmaking and crowdfunding program sponsored by Gannett, the parent company of The Topeka Capital-Journal and USA TODAY Network. Since 2017, she has been supporting groups that deal with social issues.

Funds can help communities produce food

Topeka Common Ground, a volunteer-run nonprofit that promotes, encourages and supports community gardens in Topeka and Shawnee County, is participating for the first time this year.

“We are a small organization focused on supporting and encouraging community gardening,” said Barbara LaClair, president of the organization. “We work with a very limited budget.”

LaClair had prior knowledge of the program due to her experience as a board member of the Topeka Genealogical Society, which graduated from the program last year, she said.

LaClair also hopes for good results for this organization.

At the entrance to the community garden of the Countryside United Methodist Church is a dedication to Jerrie Ross.

“Every year we provide seeds and seedlings for free, and we start planting in the garden,” she said. “We also offer a small number of grants, very small grants, to neighborhood gardens.”

These funds are used to purchase soil amendments, containers and frames for raised beds, making them more accessible for those with mobility issues.

“The more money we have, the more we can offer this kind of support,” she said.

Pets, those looking for their roots, children and women can benefit

Helping Hands Human Society, a local animal shelter located at 5720 SW 21st St., cares for hundreds of dogs and cats.

Helping Hands Humane Society has been advocating for animal welfare, promoting adoption and the return of lost animals, since 1890. It seeks to reduce overpopulation through sterilization and offers training courses in “petique”.

The Topeka Genealogical Society, founded in 1965, promotes the study of genealogy and family history. It has more than 11,000 books and 700 genealogical periodicals.

The Topeka Performing Arts Center, Inc. offers programs for students of all ages, with opportunities to learn, experience, and be recognized in the world of dance, music, and theater.

Veronica’s Voice gets women out of sex trafficking. It also seeks to prevent their entry into prostitution and to end any demand through the leadership of survivors.

Catheryn Hrenchir is a staff writer for The Topeka-Capital Journal. She can be reached at [email protected] or (785) 817-6383.