Each year, neighbors help neighbors by donating to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which benefits four local organizations — the Spring Hill Food Pantry, The BackSnack Program through the Spring Hill Rotary Club and Harvesters, the Southwest Johnson County Multi-Service Center utility assistance program and Miami County Thrive.
Four individuals from those organizations reached out this year to show just how far a donation can go.
CRIS LOWE, SOUTHWEST JOHNSON COUNTY MULTI-SERVICE CENTER MANAGER
“This year, $2,046.47 was donated to the Southwest Multi-Service Center (SWMSC). Because of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, we were able to provide utility assistance for many low-income households in Spring Hill. Listed below is the proof that the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund has made an impact and helped those in need.
Statistics from January through Aug. 20, 2018
- 13 Households, including 14 adults, nine children and four seniors were provided electric utility assistance. Total of dollars provided: $956
- Five Households, including six adults and five children were provided assistance with their gas bill. Total of dollars provided: $163.27
- 10 Households, including 18 adults and 18 children were provided assistance with a past due water bill. Total dollars provided: $700.25
“This assistance is so important as it could have caused a disconnection with client’s basic needs services. If their service is disconnected, they acquire more fees to get everything turned back on and this is a major setback for those that cannot pay their bills. Thank you again for providing these valuable and necessary funds.”
For anyone who needs assistance, call the center’s phone agent line at (913) 715-6653. If interested in hosting a food drive or donating items to the center, please call (913) 715-8961. Items needed include toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, canned beans, canned fruit, canned soup, oatmeal, granola bars, crackers, peanut butter and jelly.
KIM STERRETT, OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR FOR LIFE SPRING CHURCH
"Through the generosity of Life Spring Church, residents, corporate donors and civic contributions like the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund, more than 750 people a month have been served through the Spring Hill Food Pantry at Life Spring. The Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund provides much needed financial support, without which, the Food Pantry would be unable to meet the needs of our community."
JANICE HAWLEY, MIAMI COUNTY THRIVE
“Our current THRIVE group, which started back in February, included 12 people from Spring Hill and across Miami County,” Hawley said. “Some of those are going to be finishing the curriculum by end of September. We also are using the fund for background checks to make it a safe place for all (especially the child care area), printing costs to produce flyers to educate others in helping us gather in potential participants and more volunteers (such as Weekly Meal Providers, Discussion Facilitators, Mentors and for Child Care Providers). We also print exercises and written materials, which the participants use weekly during the Facilitated Discussions.”
Miami County Thrive is preparing for a new group of participants, beginning in October. If you or someone you know is in need of a weekly supportive group to stop the struggle, please contact Pastor Hawley at Hillside Community Lutheran Church at (913) 592-3002 or (913) 226-3334.
SHARON MEEK, BACKSNACK PROGRAM
“We were able to help 108 kids get the supplies they needed to go back to school,” Meek said of the program, which is a partnership between the Spring Hill Rotary Club and Harvesters. “The donation from the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund and many other community members made all of this possible.”