The Downing Family Foundation
Supporting initiatives. Impacting lives.

Success Stories

We invite grantees to submit their Success Stories through the Contact page. Please indicate if you also have photos available.

Wichita Habitat For Humanity MLK Day 2018

Sponsored by Volunteer Kansas, the interior and exterior walls of a five bedroom Habitat for Humanity Home was built during MLK Day 2018.

Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas

This success story is about 15 year old Shuvonna Washington who has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club since 2012.

GraceMed Clinics

Thanks to The Downing Family Foundation's generous support, GraceMed established a school-based clinic at Gordon Parks Academy in 2008. Even though it is school-based, the GraceMed Family Clinic at Gordon Parks Academy provides primary medical and dental hygiene services not only for its students but other children, adu… read more

Rainbows United, Inc.

Sophia is an adorable little three year old, with blond curly hair and a bright smile - you can’t help but notice her. Sophia was diagnosed with Chromosome 16P11-2 Micro-deletion Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, in May 2013. Her struggles include Asthma, heart problems, speech deficits, and toe walking which requires her … read more

Fresh Hope

 Fresh Hope is a hands-on, hand-in-hand program that is a "hand up"...not a "handout." It is designed for women who are seeking a fresh start and are ready to work harder than they have ever worked – but need some help getting started. "Josie's Story"    "Jennifer's Story"

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills, Inc.

In the spring of 2014, BBBS of the Flint Hills Director Andrea Landgren reached out toThe Downing Family Foundation for support of a Summer Activities Program for unmatched children in their program. The hopes of this program was to engage these children in the BBBSFH program, provide fun and interactive activities and allow staff to bui… read more


Kidzcope, a center for grieving children and their families, has been providing peer support groups for children since September of 2000. We believe strongly in the need for support from the very beginning stages of grief, and over the years, we have walked alongside many families on their path of healing.  

Real Men, Real Heroes

  The funding from The Downing Family Foundation has helped Real Men, Real Heroes make a difference in the lives of area youth through tutoring, mentoring and speaking programs. For example,   Real Men, Real Heroes is able to accomplish its mentoring goals through the Future Heroes program, designed … read more

City Life Cafe

I was born to an unwed mother that spent a great deal of her young life being raped by her father.  By the time she met my father she had spent a significant amount of time in a deep depression and had attempted suicide numerous times.  My father began a life of petty crime at a very young age and at 15 graduated to murde… read more

Youthville - Dads Dare to Care

Francisco's children were taken from his home while he was working an out-of-town job. Dads Dare to Care supported him through the child welfare process and helped him learn to better manage the behavior of his six children, ages four to 11. Francisco is now a DDTC mentor and has sole custody of his children.… read more


With the new additional accessible housing for six students and the existing duplex built in 2007, KSDS can now provide housing for eight students and graduates. Students will be able to enjoy the accessibility during their training period at KSDS to receive an assistance dog. KSDS will be able to provide accessible housing for a unique "hom… read more

Wichita Art Museum

The Downing Family Foundation has enormously impacted the Wichita Art Museum in recent years, contributing to major renovations and an expansion in the early part of the century. Because of the foundation’s generosity, the museum was able to design and create inviting landscaping that has welcomed hundreds of thousan… read more

The OZ

On one of the first Mondays The Opportunity Zone (OZ) was open, we had eight youth show up. Everybody ate, two took showers and two did laundry. We handed out clothes and emergency food supplies. Three kids walked in separately and said they had nowhere to go that night. They were homeless. We were able to find all of them a place to go that n… read more

Do You Want To Live Or Die? (DYWTLOD)

When Jamaal started high school, he had already been involved with gangs for a year. Like many other young men, associating with or being formally involved with gangs and gang related activities was a rite of passage. Upon entering the tenth grade however, Jamaal’s affiliations caused him trouble at school. On several occasions… read more

Caring Ladies Assisting Students to Succeed (C.L.A.S.S.)

Because of funding from The Downing Family Foundation, Caring Ladies Assisting Students to Succeed (C.L.A.S.S.) is making a big difference. For example, Mellissa is the eldest of five children in a single parent home. She is the sole caretaker of four younger siblings due to her mother’s termina… read more

Downing Children’s Garden

The primary purpose of the Downing Children’s Garden is to provide a beautiful, safe and playful place where children and families can grow together through shared experience, exploring nature and developing positive nurturing attitudes toward nature and the environment.  The name “Garden” does not … read more

Fundamental Learning Center

In partnership with Fundamental Learning Center (FLC), the Downing Literacy Project investigated the effect research-validated, quality literacy instructional educator training and practice had on children with low-literacy abilities.  A total of 331 children received specialized early language and literacy interv… read more


It is easy to fall in love with your work when your work is defined by the people you serve. The CARE (Community of Autism Resources and Education) Program has evolved into an actual community, however it is much more than a place for resources and education. The CARE Program is now defined by hundreds of amazing individuals and famil… read more

Kansas Humane Society

The Downing Family Foundation played a pivotal role in launching our campaign for a new shelter.  Not only did they commit a substantial gift early in the fundraising process, but their willingness to engage other community leaders in this project substantially increased our ability to meet our campaign goals. The… read more

Sedgwick County Zoo

Collaborative. Creative. Focused. Just three words that describe the experience the Sedgwick County Zoo cherished when working with The Downing Family Foundation on the Downing Gorilla Forest. From the initial contact of interest, through the planning phases, and finally, project completion,&n… read more
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden, They Call Me Coach