Hello Neighbor! Midtown Enjoys a Good Buzz


Angela Cravens

– VOL. 6

Our “Hello Neighbor!” series is an ongoing collection of short stories from the heart of our neighborhoods and the people who make them home.

Kansas City

They came for the Sweet Potato Lattes. They stayed to make an impact. 

That buzz in the air? It wasn’t just the caffeine. On September 28, National Neighbor Day, Venn neighbors throughout Midtown converged at Monarch Coffee, a local hang known for inventive drinks and a laidback, jovial atmosphere. But these coffee breaks were fueled by a sense of purpose. 

“We couldn’t do it without the neighbors!” said Lindsay Stodden of Operation Breakthrough, a local nonprofit supporting low-income children and families in the Midtown neighborhood. To celebrate National Neighbor Day, folks donated the cost of their free coffee, and Venn matched all donations, resulting in hundreds of dollars going to the nonprofit that just celebrated its 50th anniversary. 

“We’re located at 31st and Troost, so we are truly neighbors with Monarch and Venn residents,” said Lindsay. “It’s impactful knowing the community is working together to help local children and families in such important ways.” In addition to the donations raised for the organization, all of the energy around National Neighbor Day increased awareness of their mission, and that means more volunteers to help make it happen. 

Kansas City is such a giving community and events like this truly create a ripple effect,” said Lindsay. Looking ahead, Operation Breakthrough is now busy transforming an old muffler shop into The Ignition Lab, a space where teenagers will learn STEM skills like coding and entrepreneurship. From a coffee break—to a real breakthrough.   

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