Operation Breakthrough

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had harsh words for lawmakers who want to enact lifetime limits on the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Speaking at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday morning, Nixon called Senate Bill 24 "a misguided measure that punishes poor children in the legislature's zeal to reduce reliance on government assistance."

Lawmakers want to cap TANF benefits at 45 months. Currently, families are eligible for five years of benefits.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

When Sister Berta Sailor called Kansas City Mayor Sly James' cell phone a couple of weeks ago, he picked up.

The director of the child care and social service agency Operation Breakthrough told the mayor some of her patrons wanted to participate in events marking the one year anniversary of the shootings at Jewish sites in Overland Park — but there was a problem. The march and candlelight vigil were to start at the Jewish Community Center, and she didn’t have a way to get her people there.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The warm, fuzzy memories of holiday sweaters are a cherished harbinger of holiday spirit for some. For others, they are a gaudy sign of bad taste.

But on Friday night at Operation Breakthrough’s 10th Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, the Christmas sweater was celebrated in all its garish glory.

The annual event raises money and awareness for Operation Breakthrough’s mission to help children living in poverty in Kansas City. This year, organizers said they hoped to raise $20,000 for the charity.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

For more than three decades, the two nuns who’ve run Operation Breakthrough at 31st and Troost have provided mostly single moms the freedom to work.          

In the beginning, Sister Berta Sailer and Sister Carita Bussanmas had an informal arrangement to watch a handful of kids whose mothers could not afford child care.

Today, Operation Breakthrough has an $8 million budget, cares for more than 500 kids, and offers a medical and dental clinic, food and clothes pantry, social workers and therapists.

Choosing Childcare

Apr 4, 2013

From birth, the care and upbringing of a child is a stressful and demanding process. Tough questions that all parents face include who can I leave my child with when I go to work? Am I doing enough to help my child get on track with learning? And for some families, how can I get my child a good meal today? On this Central Standard we are exploring the challenges of childcare and early education for all parents, including the cost of childcare, how the government affects a child's early education and we highlight some local programs that help families in need.

Social Change Advocate At SOTU

Jan 24, 2012
Photos courtesy of Rachael Jane.

One of Kansas City's early advocates for children living in poverty will be in the audience tonight watching the President's State of the Union Address, combining the invitation with an opportunity to take her message to Congress.