As You Have Done it Unto to the Least….
December 11, 2010
“Freedom from Want” appeared on the
pages of The Saturday Evening Post on
March 6, 1943.
By Merle Bowers
Geneva High, Executive Director of Lee’s Summit Social Services, describes the dedication of her key volunteer, Don Killion; “He has never turned me down when I ask for help. He has even spent time in New Orleans, helping clean up from Katrina.”
Geneva runs an agency that assists four thousand and five hundred individuals throughout the year with nearly 1 million dollars worth of assistance in food, clothing or money for utilities. This includes 800 children, at this time of year, with toys to make their holiday just a little special.
When asked why she does this job, Geneva remarks, “It is a job that needs to be done.”
“Our major need this time of year is money for utilities and housing, I cannot imagine being without heat in your house, or being on the street at this time of year.”
Ms High’s neighbor to the north, Al Brown, Executive Director of Raytown Emergency Assistance (REAP) serves roughly 3,000 families a year. These families, living in the Raytown C-2 School District, receive assistance in the form of food and financial assistance to pay rent and utilities. This assistance totals nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year.
Mr. Brown describes the challenge of gathering donations in these economic times, “I am finding that my former donors are not able to help. They need those discretionary funds for their own needs.” Ms High goes on to add that, “I have seen former donors, coming in for assistance themselves.”
When asked what REAP’s major need is, Mr. Brown, in his trademark pithy manner answers, “Food and money.”
Brown does describe a need this time of year, “toys for their Christmas Store” running this next week on December 15, 16 and 17 at the REAP building (9300 E 75th Street/Raytown MO). “We especially need toys for teenagers.”
Mr. Brown knows that he could not do the job without the over 40 volunteers who assist with stocking food, running the office and the yearly Christmas Store. His assistant, Maggie Chase, will soon join those volunteers after retiring from 15 years as his assistant.
He offers an illustration, “If every person living in the Raytown and Lee’s Summit School Districts were to donate $1.00 to LSSS, REAP or to any agency of their choice, these agencies would have no problem meeting their needs this time of year.”
I know the situation is rough out there and cannot imagine what some families are experiencing. I also know that there are many reading this who have a little extra. Please consider sharing some of your wealth with either of these good people or one of the many other good people who are helping see that we all have a Merry Christmas in 2010 and a Happy New Year in 2011.
You can also visit them online at: www.lssocialservices.com or www.Raytownreap.org