Keeler Women's Center

About Us

Empowering Women in the Urban Core of Kansas City Through Education, Advocacy, Personal, and Spiritual Development

View the Keeler Women's Center current calendar of events.

History

Keeler Women's Center is a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, Inc., who have served women in this area since 1863. The Center opened in 2003 as a result of long-range planning by the sisters. The sisters asked themselves, "how do we want to spend our resources, both personnel and financial, in the future?" The desire to help women, especially poor women, led the Sisters to establish the Center. Donnelly College provided the first location for the Center, because of its long history with the sisters who started the college. By 2007, the Center outgrew the space and in 2008 moved into the Catholic Charities building at 2220 Central, Kansas City, KS.

FAQ

Who are we? Keeler Women’s Center is a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. The Center is staffed by three Benedictine Sisters and one full-time counselor who oversees an intern from Mid-America Nazarene University and several former interns who have returned as licensed volunteers. Another Benedictine Sister works at the Center part time and offers very specialized therapy for refugees who have been victims of torture and war. A master’s level social work intern from the University of Kansas also assists us. The staff collaborates with other non-profit organizations and about 100 volunteers each month to offer a variety of programs and services.

What is our Mission? Our mission is to empower women in the urban core of Kansas City through education, advocacy, and personal and spiritual development.

How do we fulfill our mission? We partner with professional volunteers and other non-profit organizations to provide a variety of free programs and services. Our licensed clinical counselors see women regardless of their ability to pay. 

Whom do we serve? We have no boundaries. Our programs are open to anyone who wants to attend. We serve women from the metropolitan area and beyond. Although we base our decisions on the needs of women, we also serve men. Support groups and some programs are limited to women. When possible, we provide childcare for women as they attend our programs and receive services. Women are referred to us by area churches, by women we have helped previously, as well as by many non-profit or government agencies that serve the poor..

How many people do we serve? In an average month we serve about 350 women, 20 to 25 men, and we offer childcare to approximately 20 children whose mothers are attending programs or receiving services.

In what ways do volunteers assist? Volunteers help answer the phone, register women for programs, and offer hospitality and childcare. Professional volunteers offer many ongoing programs and services.

Does the Center do any outreach? We provide a life-skills program every week for women at the Wyandotte Detention Center. A literacy tutor teaches at the Lansing prison and another volunteer does spiritual direction for women in the Topeka Correctional Facility. We offer Easy English and basic literacy classes at several local libraries in Wyandotte and Johnson counties.

How is the Center funded? Our funding comes through the ministry fund of the Benedictine Sisters. Annually the development office sponsors a major fundraiser, Night of Dreams, which helps fund the salaries of the sisters on staff. We also receive grants and individual donations to assist with salaries, program expenses, and hospitality costs. Several small fundraisers also help. We are grateful to Catholic Charities for providing space.

How can someone volunteer at the Center? Those interested in volunteering can call the Center and ask for Sister Bridget Dickason, director. We’ll arrange a time for you to take a tour and visit with us.

How can someone donate to the Center? We are a ministry of Mount St. Scholastica, Inc. and our EIN number is 48-0548363. Donations can be made to Mount St. Scholastica, Inc. for Keeler Women’s Center. Information about memorials and other gifts is available.

How can someone stay informed of the Center? We maintain a current list of programs at www.keelerwomenscenter.org. To receive regular mailings, please call or e-mail us at kwc@mountosb.org. We are happy to give tours or make presentations to interested groups.

 

Download the KWC Fact Sheet 2014 (a pdf file).

How did we get our name?

Jerome

About Sister Jerome Keeler, OSB

Sister Jerome Keeler, OSB, (1895-1965), for whom the Center is named, was foundress and first president of Donnelly College. She had a vision of offering higher education to those who had settled in the urban core and who might not otherwise be served. She was a renowned educator and author. 

Her legacy of gifted insight and her untiring efforts toward meeting the needs of the local community provide inspiration for those who build upon her work at the Women's Center that bears her name.