Pam Ferro (Woodruff at the time) is the founding member of Heartland Partners in Caring. Although she no longer serves as the Executive Director, here is Pam telling the story of how HPIC came to be.
"In 2005 I got a shocking diagnosis of breast cancer, and I think you're never prepared for something like that. Just a few short weeks after that, my five year old grandson and my five year old stepdaughter came to live with us. Two children with a lot of emotional needs. I had no idea how I was going to juggle cancer, the kids and everything that goes along with that. I had no idea how log it would be before I could work again. I figured a few months but I had really bad reactions to the treatment and ended up out of work for over six months; definitely not something I planned on.
Judy Johns and Kay Blond approached me about applying for KW Cares. I was very reluctant to do that but Judy Johns and Kay Blond can be quite convincing. So I did apply for the grant and it allowed me to just lay down and concentrate on recovery.
I was chosen by the culture committee to be the heart specialist in our office meaning that I took all of the applications from people in the office that needed to apply for KW Cares funds. KW Cares was a catastrophic event charity and we weren't qualifying for a lot of the grants that we were applying for. This was frustrating to me as we were sending KW Cares a great amount of money that we just could not access by their guidelines.
I approached Judy Johns about starting our own foundation here in the Kansas City area that would support our agents, staff, administration, and their immediate families so that those monies could be immediately granted. Judy thought it was a great idea, got her blessing from Mo Anderson and John Davis, and Heartland Partners in Caring was born