With the garden expansion has come new dreams, as well as a new initiative — Strong Roots. Strong Youth. This newest project aims to develop a series of experiential, hands-on, outdoor educational opportunities focused on community empowerment and engagement.
“We had a great time helping out Sheffield Place and getting to see the shelter on Thursday,” Go Local’s Melanie Thaden said. “I have attached the pictures we took of the team stuffing holiday cards. We also had a hygiene drive at our holiday party on Friday for Gillis and we were able to donate a ton of products to them which was so great.”
On Oct. 7, 2015, Go Local Interactive volunteered at Gillis.
The comments tell the tale.
“Just want to thank you again for being here today. You guys were awesome! I look forward to working with you again next month and hopefully even sooner than that.
Brent… Seriously… These guys were awesome!”
The email came from Gillis’ coordinator Jennifer Hurst on Dec. 11, 2014, mere hours after Mary Cygan and her Rockhill Insurance coworkers had helped staff the children organization’s holiday gift gallery for six and half hours. Two days later, Cygan and her family (10 strong) visited Morning Glory Ministries to help feed the homeless.
“We loved Gillis and we loved working with Pete to feed the homeless. It felt so good to give back…thanks so much for making that happen for us.”
Friends, this is why we do this. Those comments represent the heart of what we’re striving to create. So much good comes from one person helping another, and it positively affects all involved. The impact can be life changing, and if we as a city can just care a little bit more about someone else, imagine what we could accomplish. It’s a movement. It’s real. It’s love.
Our impact stats as of Dec. 17, 2014: 34 different KC charities assisted by 448 individual volunteers for a grand total of 1,331.5 service hours since April 2014.
Apex Systems‘ account manager Brandon Rose reached out to us in early September. His IT staffing company wanted to plan a day of volunteering and had heard about our service.
After going over the various charities we work with, the business came up with the idea of gardening at Gillis before putting on a wiffle ball game with the kids. From there, I’ll let Brandon tell the rest.
“We had a wonderful time. Our office received a lot of positive feedback, both internally and externally. We truly enjoyed our time at Gillis, as well as building relationships with the staff and children.
Apex supported Gillis by digging a foundation for their new garden patio. The patio will eventually be converted into an outdoor kitchen and eating area. Gillis children will be able to harvest foods from the garden, prepare and then serve meals on the patio.
Following that, we organized a group wiffle ball game with the kids. At the end of the game, our office donated new sport equipment for the kids. During the weeks leading up to the 26th, our workers donated roughly $400 of new sports equipment such as footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, kick-balls, wiffle ball sets and more.
In summary, we would like to extend a big thank you to The Call KC for helping us get connected with Gillis. We all agreed that Apex will continue to be in contact with The Call KC and Gillis to coordinate another event in the near future.”
In truth, the service was easy. Upon arriving at Loch Lloyd Golf Course in Belton, Mo., our small group of volunteers was given the task of passing out raffle tickets and gift bags at the 23rd Annual Gillis Golf Classic.
The job entailed standing in the air-conditioned clubhouse of a five-star golf course and greeting those who had just spent the last six hours under a blazing sun. After helping with the event’s clean-up soon thereafter, all-in-all, it was a pretty cush gig for the middle of August.
Yet it was great to do our part, albeit small, in helping raise money for this wonderful children’s organization. Most times, service simply boils down giving up a few hours and doing so with an open heart and mind.
If you’ve ever played golf before, then you know the meaning of frustration.
From slices to hooks to those tee shots that go a measly 10 feet, the exasperation that comes with a round of golf can be excruciating. The worst is when you’ve played a hole perfectly, getting just feet away from the first par of the day, only to see the ensuing putt go sailing past the hole and down the green’s 30-foot slope. I’m getting angry just writing about it.
However, there is good that comes from this maddening game. One is the exhilaration of knocking the crap out of a drive right down the middle of the fairway. Tapping in your first birdie, or better yet eagle, of the season is another.
Yet the best feeling is when you can play the game with meaning, or at least help someone else do so. With that purpose in mind, the 23rd Annual Gillis Golf Classic is less than two weeks away and they need your help.
This annual fundraising event assists the at-risk children shelter with its many programs and services, which all strive towards creating a safe and supportive living environment for boys and girls who have experienced traumatic events in their young lives.
For the Aug. 26 tourney, which will be played at the Loch Lloyd Golf Club in Belton, Mo., volunteer shifts range from welcome tent to hole competitions to escort cart drivers. And along with the myriad of opportunities also comes numerous time slots throughout the day, thus anyone can give two hours of service in the morning, midday or afternoon. Whatever fits your schedule, we can find a job.
Interested in helping the children of our city? Sign-up here to volunteer and select a shift that best fits your needs, or contact us at email@example.com for more info.