DONATION HELPS SHINE LIGHT ON FOSTER FAMILIES DURING COVID-19 

Kansas City-based sports and entertainment marketing firm pledges $25,000 to support vulnerable foster families during COVID-19 crisis

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ─ While sports may still be on hold due to Covid-19, it isn’t slowing Kansas City-based sports marketing company Integrity 9 down from finding ways to support their partners and stay involved in the community. This week during National Foster Care Awareness Month, the company donated pre-loaded Netspend prepaid debit cards to hundreds of foster families across the U.S.

“While I know many families are struggling through this crisis, foster families are particularly vulnerable,” said Wes Engram, President of Integrity 9. “Our family understands what they are experiencing, and our team wanted to do something to help recognize and support these families doing amazing work in our local communities.”

Integrity 9 partnered with five Foster and Adoption agencies, in cities where the company has employees, to distribute $100 gift cards to 250 foster families. These agencies include:  FosterAdoptConnect and KVC Kansas (Kansas City), Youth Villages (Nashville), The Children’s Village (New York) and Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition (St. Louis).

"Children need families and people who love them implicitly and unconditionally. Our amazing foster families help children achieve this basic need of family. But COVID-19 has brought new challenges that we haven't faced before. Everything is more difficult and maintaining connections to loved ones is harder than ever before. These gift cards are a lifeline for our foster community and are greatly helping the families we serve. On behalf of the CV community, thank you to Integrity 9 for living our values, recognizing our most immediate needs and showing such generosity in this crisis."  - Jeremy Kohomban, PhD, President & CEO, The Children's Village

“All Kansas families have found themselves in uncharted territory these past few months and the effects have been especially challenging for our foster families who are committed to providing stable and loving homes to vulnerable children.  This generous donation of gift cards will help ease the burden of caring for children during this crisis and ensure that KVC foster families are able to access the necessary items they need to continue their heroic work.” - Megan Maciel, Director of Recruitment and Communication, KVC Kansas

“We are so grateful to have the gift cards to distribute to our families struggling during this time of uncertainty.  People that become foster parents may not always have the most wealth to share, but they have the biggest hearts. Thank you, Integrity 9 for supporting our families.” - Melanie Scheetz, Executive Director for Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition

    “COVID-19 has brought to light the best and the worst of most things. It has laid bare the ways in which our most at-risk kids and families are deeply impacted by the problems that affect our society. Integrity 9 found a way to help kids and families fill in gaps in the most needed areas of life during this difficult crisis. Kids were helped to access school online, groceries were paid for when parents were laid off or suffered from reduced hours/income, older youth fixed broken cars or paid for the gas to get to work at that ‘essential’ job in childcare or fast food. These kids and families, often overlooked by much of society, have found true support in the kindness and grace of Integrity 9. We couldn’t be more grateful!” - Lori Ross, Chief Executive Officer at FosterAdopt Connect

    "This has been a challenging time for so many in our community, particularly for the families in our foster care program. We are incredibly grateful to Integrity 9 for their generous donation, which will provide some relief and support for the children and families we serve." - Richard Shaw, Chief Development Officer for Youth Villages

    Nationally, more than 437,000 youth are in foster care, more than 125,000 of whom are waiting for their forever home.

    Engram started Integrity 9 in 2017 after 16 years working in partnership development for professional sports teams, including the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. He is deeply involved in the Foster and Adoption community, serving as a trustee for The Children’s Village.

    “Giving back and supporting the local communities we work in is a priority for our team,” continued Engram. “These families appreciate the support and I hope our story will encourage others to do the same.”

    ABOUT INTEGRITY NINE

    Integrity 9 is a national sports and entertainment marketing agency that helps companies navigate strategic opportunities across the sports landscape. Integrity 9 helps businesses and establish a well-designed partnership strategy based on research, analytics, and extensive experience. Services include business development, property selection, asset recommendation, strategic budgeting and contract negotiation. Some of the company’s partners include Anheuser Busch, the Major League Baseball Players Association, Gulf Oil, Jockey, Netspend, and TicketSmarter. For more information, visit www.integritynine.com.

    Media Contact:

    Erica Cohen, ecohen@highdivepr.com, 913.707.8486