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Operation Breakthrough, Kansas City, MO

 March 5th - March 11th, 2017

Operation Breakthrough, Kansas City, MO

Operation Breakthrough is the Missouri's largest day care center.  Its mission is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.  This organization provides day care, meals, Children’s Mercy Clinic, a dental clinic, speech therapy, play therapy, housing assistance, food and clothing to children and families of the inner city of Kansas City. Operation Breakthrough also strives to support and empower the children's families through advocacy, referral services, and emergency aid.

Operation Breakthrough cares each weekday for more than 600 children, ages 6 weeks to 18 years. More than 98% of the enrolled families live below the federal poverty guidelines, most far below them.

About 25% of the children are homeless or near homeless, living in battered women's or homeless shelters or transitional living programs. Often they sleep on the sofas of friends or relatives, sometimes even living in cars, rundown hotels or abandoned buildings. About 25% of our children are in foster care or other placements due to abuse, neglect or other family crises. The average income of the families is $9,400.

What to Expect:

  • Cost: Each ABE trip costs $425. Souvenirs and optional excursions are individual expenses.
  • Travel: The group travels from campus to Kansas City by van. The driving takes one day.
  • Lodging: The group stays at the Hollis Renewal Center.  
  • Food: Meals are purchased and prepared by the group following the SNAP Challenge.
  • Work: The week is spent working with children living in poverty.  You will help provide them with a safe, loving, and nurturing environment by reading with the children, doing projects, music, playing outside and working with groups.  In the afternoons, past groups were asked to help with various tasks around Operation Breakthrough including organizing donations, moving furniture, and helping with paperwork.
  • Extra Fun: Exploring Kansas City and the surrounding area!  In recent years groups have had the opportunity to enjoy barbeque, jazz, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and the Hallmark Visitors Center.
  • Focus: Children, poverty, community, and solidarity.

    Interested in applying?  Apply here to apply to co-lead, here to apply to participate, and here to apply to advise! 

    Please note: $100 due with acceptance of a position!

    Any questions about this trip can be directed to Alternative Break Experiences at


ABE Spring Trip

Packing list

Special Points of Interest:

  • Working with inner city children
  • Education
  • Children's Issues
  • Advocacy
  • Social Justice
  • Poverty

From Past Participants:

"I had an impactful week and my eyes were opened to the seriousness of the issue of poverty.  The people at Operation Breakthrough welcomed us with open arms and I feel like my contribution was small but significant."

- 2014 Participant

"This was an amazing trip in which I learned a lot about justice issues for low income families and all the things Operation Breakthrough does to help them.  In addition, interacting with the children was awesome and I learned a lot about myself."

-2015 Participant