Free Christmas Store Opens Monday
December 1, 2012
Geneva High, Director; Matt Sanning,
Assist. Director; Duane Muckey,
Board Member; Rodney Willard,
volunteer and Bob Thorpe, staff
stand in the three large rows of donated toys for
all ages for the free Christmas store.
Click to enlarge >>
Tribune Photo/Linda Ahern
By Mary Pechar
Formed over 20 years ago for the purpose of helping low income, elderly and/or disabled individuals or families, Lee’s Summit Social Services (LSSS) has served the communities of Lee’s Summit, Lone Jack, Greenwood and Lake Lotawana with emergency assistance, which includes food, utility and rent assistance, small home repairs, clothing, personal supplies, furniture, infant needs,
Christmas gifts and food, and referrals to other agencies as appropriate. In partnership with the Kansas City Medicine Cabinet, they also assist with medical needs and prescriptions.
LSSS is a full service emergency assistance agency providing FREE assistance on a daily basis.
Their caseload continues to grow due to the country’s hard economic times and the population growth in their service area. Nearly $94,000 in utility assistance alone has been provided so far this year.
“The number of families assisted this year has increased 30% over last year,” said LSSS Executive Director Geneva High. “We have already made appointments for over 800 children to receive new toys, gifts and clothing from the LSSS Christmas Store.
We anticipate that number to increase as the families struggle to meet basic needs; I expect that by Monday we will be over 1000. We do not want to have any parent tell their child there will not be Christmas gifts this year.”
Located at the North end of the LSSS building the Community Thrift Store is a critical component of the LSSS mission.
Shopping and donating to the Thrift Store is much more than meets the eye. It is a donation center for new and gently used items, a place to find great deals, and a place where individuals and families can shop with dignity.
“The Store is a way for families and individuals to save a bit of money and help others at the same time,” said High. “All sales from items sold are used to assist families with utilities and rent. We gladly accept good used furniture, household goods and clothing. With the increase in families needing assistance, funding to keep up with these needs is more important than ever.
“Volunteers are a very important part of our agency. We currently need volunteers to assist in the thrift store as well as other areas of our agency.”
In addition to volunteers, current needs include funds to purchase meat, fresh vegetables and fruit for the clients needing assistance, as well as the utility and rental assistance. Food donations are always needed and are given out daily to families and individuals.
Teen gifts are needed for the Christmas gifts to the families.
Donations of food, household items and toiletries may be dropped off at LSSS Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. except on Wednesday the hours are 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Lee’s Summit Social Services is located at 108 4th Street in Downtown Lee’s Summit.
To register for the free Christmas store, make a financial donation, donate new toys or to donate slightly used clothes and household items for the Thrift Store, please call 816-525-4357.
While Federal, County, Community Development Block Grants, F.E.M.A, Lee’s Summit Fire Department Needy Family Fund, Mid America Assistance Coalition, and Greater Kansas City United Way grants are used to fund the efforts of Lee’s Summit Social Services, they also rely on the generosity of area businesses, organizations and individuals for financial support and the donation of food and supplies.
Recently the Lee’s Summit Fire Fighters Association – IAFF Local 2195 presented LSSS with $18,000 raised with last years annual ‘Boot Block’.
Lee’s Summit Social Services is an exempt organization under 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your contributions may be tax deductible less any goods and services received.