Highlighting Local Heroes: Who We’re Thankful For This Year

Thankful for Missouri Heroes

2023 hasn’t been the best year for Missouri. From attacks on trans kids to school censorship to an investigation into the House Speaker, there’s been plenty to worry about.

But as Thanksgiving approaches, Progress MO has been reflecting on some of the local heroes that have made this year a little bit easier. Here are some folks we’re especially thankful for:

The Right To Read Coalition

After Missouri was named the number one state in the country on school censorship, activist Lisa Bernstein formed The Right To Read Coalition.

The Right To Read Coalition is a group of anti-censorship organizations from around Missouri that helps defend rural libraries in the face of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s absurd law targeting libraries.

Follow and support The Right To Read Coalition here.

The Missouri Family Health Council

Submitted by Progress MO activist Sue Gibson, The Missouri Family Health Council is a non-profit working to expand access to reproductive health care.

In the face of Missouri’s war on reproductive rights, The Missouri Family Health Council provides both education and essential health care services to those who need it most.

Find out how you can get involved with The Missouri Family Health Council here.

Operation Food Search

This summer, when Missouri refused to feed hungry kids, Operation Food Search stepped up to the plate.

Operation Food Search also works year-round to provide food for families in need, giving free produce to St. Louis-area families and working with local stores to set families up with a real Thanksgiving dinner.

Support Operation Food Search’s mission here.

Missouri Area Agencies on Aging

With the shutdown of rural hospitals across the state, the Missouri Area Agencies on Aging have filled gaps in medical transportation, health insurance guidance and more.

Missouri Area Agencies on Aging has 10 chapters across the state to meet seniors’ needs as they navigate healthy aging.

To support Missouri Area Agencies on Aging, visit their website here.

Oak Park High School Students

Missouri legislators – who, despite what their actions might say, are full-grown adults – set aside most of 2023’s legislative session to bully a bunch of kids.

But when legislators reverted back to schoolyard bullying, the real school children at Oak Park High School stood firm by a trans classmate, Tristan Young, who they nominated and voted to win homecoming queen. After her win was announced, amid a barrage of hate, both Young and the other students at Oak Park stood firm.

To support trans kids and other LGBTQ Missourians, connect with PROMO here.