Fighting for children and youth in Douglas County to achieve their full potential through equitable, quality education from cradle to career.





The United Way Brainfood program partners with the Harvesters 'BackSnack' program to provide a book each Friday to students receiving a weekend food backpack. If you’re familiar with the Harvesters’ program, you know these are the kids who have the greatest need, often identified by school nurses and staff as “visibly hungry” and not necessarily part of the school lunch programs. For many of these kids, these books are their only books. At the beginning of the school year, they are thrilled to learn they can keep the books; at the end of the school year, they are talking about their bookshelves. In an average year, the Brainfood program collects and delivers about 14,000 books for 400 local students!

If you would like to donate books or volunteer to help contact



United Way Readers

Children learn to read in the early-grade years so they can read and learn throughout the rest of their lives. A missed opportunity to read at grade level by the fourth grade could set an individual’s quest for learning back permanently. You can help by volunteering to be a United Way Reader. In conjunction with classroom teachers and the Boys & Girls Club, volunteers provide much-needed reading practice time with students, either one on one or with small groups, for one hour per week. These interactions help these youths to be on track towards literacy and inspire more confidence in their learning. 

If you would like to be a United Way Reader contact:




We work together to make sure that our communities’ children have the necessary supplies to start the school year. Volunteers help equip Douglas County students for school by staffing school supply drives during the summer at local grocery stores. Each year, the need for access to school supplies grows. We provide supplies to almost 5,000 students every year through these collections. This is a great opportunity for individuals and groups alike to get involved in their community! 





Ballard Community Services


Ballard Community Services is committed to partnering with families and individuals to achieve stability and self-sufficiency through education and all encompassing, needs-based support services.

Big Brothers & Big Sisters

Mission: to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. 

Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas 
785-865-0669 (Lawrence office) / 785-357-5171 (Main office in Topeka) / 877-678-2548 (Toll Free)

Lawrence Office- 2518 Ridge Court, Lawrence, Kansas 66046 / Main Office- 1100 SW Wanamaker Road, Suite 201, Topeka, Kansas 66604 

Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas supports the development and early education of children by improving access to resources for families, including high-quality child care options. Visit our website for more about how we serve Kansas families, child care providers, communities, businesses and more. Our mission is to support the development and early education of children by improving access to resources for families, including high-quality child care options. 

Communities in Schools of Mid-America         

1919 Delaware St., Lawrence KS 66044

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through school-based coordination, Communities In Schools connects students and families to critical community resources, tailored to their local needs.

Community Children's Center, Inc.
901 Kentucky Street, Suite 202

Community Children’s Center, Inc. (CCC) has over 50 years experience in delivering high-quality early education to children experiencing poverty and trauma in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas. Our mission is to bring about a greater degree of social-emotional competence and school readiness for young children and their families experiencing economic, educational and social challenges.

Independence, Inc

Our mission here at Independence, Inc. is to maximize the independence of people with disabilities through advocacy, peer support, training, transportation and community education.

Positive Bright Start

1900 Delaware St., Lawrence, KS 66046

Positive Bright Start believes every child deserves a brighter tomorrow.  Children and their caregivers face challenges that compromise their healthy development and ability to thrive.  Positive Bright Start serves the holistic needs of our community's youngest, most vulnerable and life-affected children and their caregivers to foster lifelong success.

Success By 6

The mission of SB6 is to ensure that all Douglas County families of children under 6 have what they need to successfully parent their young children, thereby fostering positive parent-child relationships and preparing children for success in school and in life.