A Lasting Impact



Written by Marta Padula — A Rose Brooks Guardian

My introduction to Rose Brooks Center was over twenty-five years ago, when I was asked to be on the Cabaret Committee. It was then that I learned of the work being done to help women and their children end the cycle of violence in their lives. I thought of how difficult it would be to leave the only life a women knew to seek safety from the person who says he loves her and their children.

I learned that Rose Brooks Center was there for them when they arrived with very little. At the Center they would find shelter, a warm bed and food, and counseling to take the giant step to a new, safe life for their family.

My knowledge of Rose Brooks Center grew when I was asked to join the Board. I became aware of how committed the staff was to their clients and how frugal they were when allocating funds for the budget. The staff seemed to do so much with so little for these brave survivors.

When I was asked to chair Cabaret in 2000, it was at the same time we were raising capital funds for a new shelter. Would our supporters support both? They did! We had a lovely evening at the gala — and a wonderful, new shelter in a safe location was to be built.

When seeing the new shelter, I was once again impressed by the fiscal responsibility shown in the planning. The walls were brightly painted cinder block so that the raised funds would be used for such things as a large kitchen, bathrooms and more space for families. I could not imagine being a women in crisis and having to share a room with another family, as was common in the old shelter because of its size.

Under Susan Miller’s leadership, Rose Brooks Center grew in many ways, always working toward the mission of ending the cycle of violence. A pet center was opened, so that beloved pets would not have be left behind. Transitional housing was established to help families make their way to lives without violence. All this was being done by wonderful staff, while again keeping a frugal eye on the budget.

As I planned my future, I knew that I wanted to see the mission of Rose Brooks Center continue for many, many years. Therefore, I included a Legacy gift to Rose Brooks Center. I know that any size of gift is welcome. Smaller gifts combine to make large gifts. I am truly comfortable in knowing that my Legacy gift will be put to good use helping women and their children to their new, safe lives.

Marta remains to be an active voice for the mission of Rose Brooks Center and serves as a member of two advisory committees — Safe Society and Cabaret Patrons.

To learn more about becoming a Rose Brooks Guardian (a planned giver):

We know legacy giving and estate planning can seem complicated and expensive. But everyone deserves the opportunity to create a lasting impact on the causes they love. We’re pleased to offer FreeWill as an alternative: it makes estate planning simple, accessible, and 100% free for Rose Brooks supporters — and easily allows you to create a legacy gift in your plans. And it takes most individuals 20 minutes or less to complete!

Learn more or start your planning today at freewill.com/rosebrooks

Rose Brooks Is Here

Rose Brooks Center

Rose Brooks Center is about saving lives. Read letters from the CEO, stories about featured programs, and more here.

Bridge Program

Serving patients experiencing domestic violence in the safety of local hospitals and clinics.

Children's Programs

Offering a wide variety of services to support the emotional and physical well-being of children who are healing from domestic violence.

Community Training

Since 2001, Rose Brooks Center has been providing quality domestic violence education to the Kansas City community and beyond.

Court Advocacy

Advocating for and guiding survivors through complex court systems.

Economic Empowerment

Helping survivors repair the effects of economic abuse through credit repair, budgeting, and education.

Emergency Shelter

Providing a safe sanctuary where individuals, families, and pets are welcomed, wrapped in support, and can begin to heal.

Employment Advocacy

Employment Advocacy includes developing job interview skills, job search, and ongoing support to survivors in maintaining employment.


Providing confidential support, information, individual safety planning, resources, and more. The 24-hour Hotline is 816-861-6100.


Helping survivors find safe, affordable housing and gain economic stability within a safe home, free from violence.

Onsite Clinic

On-site medical and healthcare services within the safety of emergency shelter.

Pet Shelter

An on-site state-of-the art pet shelter for dogs, cats, and other family pets.

Police Advocacy

Providing advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and education for officers to improve victims safety.

Project SAFE

A school-based violence prevention program working to end the cycle of domestic violence by providing support to youth dealing with violence at home or communities.


Stories about our incredible volunteers and the work they do to support our mission.