Sunday is a day many Kansas Citians wait for all week. It is a day for savory snacks, red and gold jerseys, and cheers that can be heard for miles. It’s GAME DAY for the Kansas City Chiefs!
While the Chiefs thrill us through nail-biting games and fill us with contagious hometown spirit, they also offer incredible support to our community, including the United Inner City Services (UICS) family.
Most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs and Chiefs sponsor/UICS supporter GEHA gave one of our UICS teachers (and one of Kansas City’s largest Chiefs fans!) an unforgettable experience during a difficult time.
UICS-Metro Center teacher Jordae’ Ferguson’s life was forever changed December 28, 2020. She, along with many other residents, lost her home to a devastating apartment complex fire in the Waldo area.
“I was home with my boyfriend. We heard sirens nearby but had no idea our building was on fire on the floor above us until we heard people yelling to get out from our window,” Jordae’ explained.
“The only thing I was able to grab was my wallet.”
Upon learning about the fire and Jordae’s tragedy, members of the community showed up to offer help and support.
“UICS helped in a tremendous way. Ms. Deidre (UICS CEO) reached out almost every day and used her connections to help me get things that I needed.”
Jordae said, “The hardest part wasn’t losing the apartment; the hardest part was what to do next and how to face the next day.”
Michael Funaro, the husband of UICS-Metro Center’s Assistant Director Melissa Funaro, also stepped into action and set up a Go-Fund-Me page to solicit donations to help Jordae’.
“I’ve never worked at a place like UICS. People from every school reached out to check on me. I can never express how thankful I am for my UICS family”
Upon hearing Jordae’s story, the Kansas City Chiefs generously connected to offer support. Learning how big of a Chiefs supporter Jordae’ was, the Chiefs arranged for Chiefs Ambassador Jon McGraw, a former Chiefs safety, to personally present Jordae’ with an incredible care package filled with Chiefs gear. This included Chiefs blankets, hats, and a new Patrick Mahomes jersey, to replace her previous one that was lost in the fire.
But the care package was just the start of the generous gift to Ms. Jordae’ and UICS. GEHA also warmly provided Jordae’ and a UICS Head Start family each with two company tickets to the home playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, January 17, 2021.
“I cried when I found out about everything on the phone, and my heart just stopped. The whole experience was a dream come true. I’ve never been to a playoff game or had a better day. The seats were amazing!”
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs Super Bowl MVP quarterback and UICS early education supporter, said during that fateful divisional round game against the Texans when the Chiefs were down 24-0 and came back to take the lead before halftime, “Let’s do something special.” The Chiefs actively express his mantra throughout the community.
UICS is forever grateful for the Kansas City Chiefs and GEHA for their full-bodied support to our teachers and families. Thank you for supporting Kansas City’s littlest learners.
From all of us at UICS, we wish the Kansas City Chiefs a successful finish to an incredible 2020 season. Run it back!