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That’s Our Girl
In the Kansas City metro area, everyone has heard about the young woman who was fatally shot at a Crossroads First Friday event on August 2, 2019. But what many might not realize is how much of an impact Erin Langhofer made in her brief 25 years of life. A social worker at Rose Brooks, a domestic abuse shelter, Erin was a welcome respite for anyone who needed a bright smile, an infectious laugh, and a positive spin on life’s challenges. She was as real as you could get.
From infancy, Erin was a vivacious, fun-loving girl, always able to find humor in any situation. She was both insanely silly and utterly caring, both outgoing and humble. Erin was unabashed, thinking unflattering photos of her were hilarious. She could converse with anyone and they would feel heard and important — and usually amused. Her connections to her family and her friends from childhood, high school, college and beyond were among the most important relationships in her life.
She was special to her clients, as well. As one wrote, after hearing of Erin’s death:
“Erin was truly amazing. After 13 years of abuse, I wasn’t able to fully discuss the pain or guilt with anyone. But Erin got through to me and helped me like no one ever had. She listened … with no judgment … and offered guidance and compassion. She wouldn’t take ‘no’ from me but never pushed. She wanted me to understand my anger, to release my guilt, and to know it wasn’t my fault that he hurt us. She was helping me to thrive in our new lives — free and beautifully broken but still worth loving. I doubt I will ever open up to another the way I let Erin in. Because of her tenacious spirit, I know that it’s OK to feel pain, anger and anguish. I will do my best to honor Erin and believe that I am worth the love she believed I deserved … and that I was worth saving.”
Do Good for Erin started as an unassuming comfy clothing drive to honor Erin’s birthday in December 2019. Because Erin’s first priority upon arriving home was always to don the coziest ensemble she could find, it was a natural to collect her kind of style to donate to Rose Brooks, where Erin was a social worker. The first Comfy Clothing Drive was held in a friend’s dining room, and the next year in their driveway, and cars dropping off their donations blocked the street for hours.
In the years following, the drive grew into a major event. Erin’s family and thousands of friends, coworkers and former clients were so successful in honoring her memory that truckloads of comfy clothes were collected. In 2022, Do Good for Erin was able to sponsor the renovation and furnishing of Erin’s House under the umbrella of Healing House in Kansas City, Missouri. At Erin's House, mothers in substance abuse recovery who are also domestic violence survivors will be housed with their children with the goal of rebuilding their lives together.
That year, the cause had grown so much that it seemed feasible to establish the Do Good for Erin Foundation. Through the Foundation, we intend to continue Erin's positive impact on the Kansas City community.
Starting in 2023, the Do Good for Erin Foundation also began funding two $5,000 scholarships at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare for students who wish to continue their education at the master’s level. Finally, our grant committee reviews decisions and funding requests from other 501c3 organizations that are aligned with Erin's passions and interests.
Our partnership with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation makes your donation tax-deductible.