The first preseason game for the Kansas City Chiefs each year serves as the "Charity Game," and for the second year in a row, the Children's Place in Kansas City will be the game's beneficiary.
"Being the beneficiary really is a game-changer for us," Ann Thomas, the president and CEO of the Children's Place, said. "We went into this with the hopes that it would allow us to raise some additional dollars to expand and change our facility in some way, and that's just not something that was in our budget prior to that event, so it really is the opportunity that over these next couple of years, we will raise some money that will help us make this place look different for the children."
The mission of the Children's Place is to nurture and promote the healthy development of young children who have survived abuse, neglect and trauma by providing specialized services and family support, within a safe and caring environment.
"Miracles happen here, as one of our board members always says," Thomas added. "The children who arrive at the Children's Place have had special life events. We have the gamut—children who come just for therapy, and that may be because someone in their family suddenly died.
"They may have been in a horrible car accident, so something bad has happened to them. We also have children here who are in our therapeutic preschool, our day-treatment program."
During the first year as the beneficiary of the "Chiefs Charity Game," the organization raised a record-breaking $730,000.
This week, members of the Chiefs defensive line had an opportunity to stop by the Children's Place to read stories and ensure the students made it safely to their buses after the programs let out.
"It's just fun," Dontari Poe said. "To come out here and to see the smiles, you know it's all genuine and it's all just good clean fun, so I love it."
This year, the "Chiefs Charity Game" takes places on Saturday, August 13, when the Chiefs host the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium at 3:30 p.m. CT.