Sunflower Diversified lends a serving hand to Core Community

When Sunflower Diversified Services learned that another local non-profit entity could use a helping hand, it stepped up to the plate.

Sunflower staff members recently provided and served dinner to participants in “Journey to Resolve pOVERty – Barton County Core Community.” This group meets on Thursdays to share a meal before the agenda starts.

“When Core Community reached out to Sunflower we didn’t hesitate to offer our help,” said Connie Oetken, director of development. “Sunflower representatives are always looking for new avenues to giving back to the community that gives so generously to us. This is part of our mission.”

Sunflower serves people with special needs in central Kansas.

More than 30 people shared a KFC meal during the Jan. 30 Core Community event at First United Methodist Church in Great Bend.

“We were happy to lend a hand at this event,” Oetken said. “And we plan to do it again in the fall.”

Jon Prescott, Sunflower executive director, said “it’s important to our Leadership Team and our clients to give back to the communities we serve because they give to us in so many ways. When non-profit opportunities arise, we love to give back with our time and servant hearts.”

Sunflower Diversified Services staff members serve dinner to Core Community participants at a recent meeting. Sunflower emphasizes community involvement.

Jamie Baldwin, Core Community director and resource coordinator, said she and the group appreciate Sunflower’s willingness to participate.

“This kind of assistance is vital to our group,” Baldwin said. “Without the support of the community, our program would not be possible. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Sunflower and others who have contributed.”

Baldwin noted that the first phase of the Core Community two-phase program lasts 18-20 weeks. The second phase depends on individual circumstances.

“We see people in our community struggling every day,” Baldwin said. “We believe poverty is the root cause of many of these struggles. The entire community, especially those who are experiencing poverty, are encouraged to become involved and help us solve the problem. Our program is a great vehicle for healing lives.

“Poverty overwhelms people and institutions,” Baldwin continued. “The experience of poverty is often painful and full of a sense of powerlessness and isolation. We look forward to even more community support as we create a safe space for families to emerge from poverty and claim the lives they deserve.”

Core Community is co-hosting a special event called “Cost of Poverty Experience” (C.O.P.E.) from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at First Christian Church, 5230 Broadway in Great Bend.

This is a free event to “learn about the lives of people living below the poverty line in an interactive simulation,” Baldwin said.

For more information about this event or providing and/or serving a meal, contact Baldwin by calling 620-282-9332 or email

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 54th year.

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