By Porsche Seals, ED of Caring for Kids Network

According to Webster Dictionary, a champion is a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition. Another definition is a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.

As I sit and write this, I can honestly say that it takes a lot of grit to be a champion. Champions see high heights, and low valleys, but they persevere. 

Kansas City is the city of champions! We are also the city of fountains, barbeque, the Monarchs, beautiful art, jazz music,the Plaza, the Eastside, the Westside, the Riverside, the Southside, the Northside. Home of the Royals. Home of the Chiefs. It is our home. 

Right now, the champions are down and the score doesn’t look too good. Last year, in 2023, over 180 neighbors lost their lives to gun violence and the score keeps getting wider for the champs. On February 14, 2024, a lovely woman lost her life at a parade after celebrating the greatest champions in football, but our city lost again that day. Two children will never see their mom again and so many others spent Valentine’s Day not with loved ones, but in hospital beds suffering at the hands of gun violence. 

We have a problem. What do we do? The city of fountains is bleeding red. Our hearts are broken once again. Instead of celebratory images, our artists are drawing memorials. What do we do? Families were terrified. We keep reminding ourselves that we are strong, but man, this is a real moment of shared weakness. What do we do? 

We have to begin to behave like champions- live like champions. That is what we do. We rally around one another and hold each other up. We are strong people. We must continue to contend for our beloved Kansas City. We must stay the course. We must mentor our children, rally around our vulnerable, pray and act, clean up our neighborhoods, support our schools, provide mixed income housing for our neighbors, take care of our elderly, look after our houseless population, and provide opportunities for those looking to be champions in their own lives. We have to strive to be and be peacemakers in a day where everyone just wants to keep the peace. Our children NEED adults to champion for them in voting booths and fight for their innocence.  

Last year, over 180 families did not celebrate holidays with their loved ones. We can not end 2024 with the same results. We have to come together. The work is too much for one person, but we can accomplish a great deal together. Be a champion.