On December 29, 2019, in conjunction with the Chiefs home game against the San Diego Chargers, Rick Kahle was recognized by Blue KC and KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network for his work with Phoenix Family in Kansas City.
“The work of Phoenix Family is vitally important to many families in the Kansas City community,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC’s Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “As the board chair of Phoenix Family, Rick Kahle is ensuring that impoverished youth, families and seniors have access to life-altering resources and programs. We’re proud to honor him as a Blue KC Here for Good Hero.”
Kahle’s involvement in Phoenix Family began after meeting co-founder Jonathan Cohn 15 years ago. After hearing about the organization and learning about the extensive needs of the impoverished population of Kansas City, Kahle was moved to volunteer. Immediately impressed with the organization’s team and leadership as well as their passion for helping family and senior residents of low-income housing, Kahle soon deepened his involvement. He joined the board in 2009, stepped into the role as board chair in 2010, and also got his entire family involved.
“Telling my son and daughter how fortunate we were rang somewhat shallow because it was difficult for them to understand what it meant to live in poverty,” said Kahle, who has been a Kansas City resident since 1985. “Having them volunteer at Phoenix’s family properties and experience the very real challenges good people who live in poverty face has very positively impacted our entire family.”
According to Phoenix Family, a stable, safe and decent home holds enormous possibilities for a low-income family striving to chart a more secure and hopeful future. But the residents Phoenix Family serves need more than housing to build personal and financial assets and overcome barriers to success. They also require services where they live, which is where Phoenix Family comes in and works to empower people living in low-income housing communities with the on-site support they need to gain stability and achieve self-sufficiency.
Because poverty is a complex problem and there is no one model or answer that will fix all, Phoenix Family looks at each person individually and vies to find solutions that are tailored to fit his or her specific situation. They break down their services into key areas focused on youth development, families and senior empowerment. One example of the Phoenix Family programming is HIKE (Help Instill the Key to Education), which, in conjunction with the Trent Green Family Foundation, ensures that all children they serve read at grade level.
While Kahle knows the value of the entire Phoenix Family team in making the vast difference they do, he also recognizes that it starts at the top of the organization.
“Our fearless leader, Executive Director Kimber Myers Givner, is one of the very best leaders I’ve ever worked with,” said Kahle. “She’s built an amazing team that is 100 percent committed to making a meaningful impact on the good people we serve. I have learned so much from Kimber about what it really means to be a servant-leader.”
Through his time with Phoenix Family, Kahle has learned a number of valuable lessons including the notion that “everything is better when you get to do meaningful things with the people you admire and enjoy being with.”
“I had a good friend tell me how lucky I am to have this opportunity to be involved with Phoenix Family, and she was 100 percent correct,” said Kahle. “The personal satisfaction and enjoyment that I get from being part of a dynamite team of associates, volunteers and board members helping those who desperately need our help is fulfilling in ways that are extremely meaningful.”
The Blue KC Here for Good Hero program recognizes strong community partners and the men and women who work or volunteer with those organizations to make Kansas City a better place to live, work and play. Prior to each Chiefs home game, Blue KC selects one honoree to attend the game, while also enjoying the KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network Tailgate Party and a visit to the radio broadcast booth. Blue KC also donates $1,000 to the organization of each honoree.