New Goal: $3100
The new goal reflects an increase of $1000 in the materials estimate.
Serve Kansas City is helping Forest Avenue Family Shelter renovate part of their building into a "soup kitchen". Forest Avenue is a homeless shelter that serves women and children. The soup kitchen, which is now being called the "Bread of Life Kitchen", could potentially feed 50+ on a daily basis. It would be a combination lunch/dinner service that is in addition to the dinner service they already provide to the women and children staying at the shelter.
We have been assessing their needs and are working on putting together work crews and material lists. Most of the big ticket items have already been donated but we are nearing our first work day and have fallen short on the needed funds and donations for the rest. So this fundraising campaign is an urgent plea to help us raise those funds so our volunteers can do the work. The big donations are nice but all we need is 220 people donating only $10 each to reach our goal. If each of us can do a little, then together we can do something big!
So how exactly will your donation impact Kansas City? Pastor Ken Smith runs the Forest Avenue Family Shelter and had this to say about why the Bread of Life Kitchen is needed in the community:
"For the past 20 years the Forest Avenue Family Shelter has fed the poor and homeless. Monday through Friday we serve homeless women and children. On Sundays our kitchen is open to the community to both men and women as well. Each evening we have between 15 and 20 men and women who come from the community to eat in addition to the normal 40 we have in the shelter. We have limited the number due to the fact that our shelter is also for battered women. Having men come in and eat with these women is a bit stressful for these women. Recently with the economic crisis the community that has been hit the hardest and suffers the most from unemployment is the urban core. For this reason we have had a steady increase in the number of families coming to our doors for help. This rise in need has been seen in our pantry where we now distribute food for 700 people on Wednesdays. For the above reasons we feel that there is a need for a regular soup kitchen for the community at 43rd and Forest Avenue. Even though there are other pantries in the community the numbers coming on Sunday night have steady risen over the past year. Recently we have also come into a supplier of healthy fruits and vegetables which in the urban core are almost unheard of. The lack of these foods has led to steady rise of high blood pressure and diabetes in the urban core. Much of this food can be used not only to feed the hungry but to improve the health of the community as well." ~ J. Ken Smith
To learn more about poverty in the US and here locally in Kansas City I would encourage you to read this arcticle published just last month in The Kansas City Star: Time to get hungry for U.S. poverty solutions
What We Need & What You Get
Money raised at the beginning through PayPal will go towards extra material costs that we aren't able to get donated. Our first work day, Dec 29th, is fast approaching and we need funds to help cover these materials. We're now estimating them to be around $2500! (updated 12/31/11) We will receive funds donated through PayPal immediately so if you have a PayPal account that is the best way to donate.
Once all the material needs are met and work on the kitchen is completed we will help Forest Avenue by purchasing any kitchenware supplies that we aren't able to get donated. We're starting from scratch and this ain't your bachelor pad kitchen. They will need some serious cookware that is going to last. We're estimating these costs to be another $650.
Any money that is left over will be given to Forest Avenue Family Shelter to help keep the soup kitchen running after we've left. Forest Avenue Family Shelter is a 501c3 non-profit charity. Every donation will receive a receipt from Forest Avenue that you can use for tax deduction purposes. But beyond a tax deduction you will get to be apart of something bigger than yourself and help out some Kansas City neighbors in need. Once the Bread of Life Kitchen begins operations Serve Kansas City will begin scheduling volunteer days to help prepare and serve the food to their guests. So if you want to serve in the soup kitchen you helped build pay us a visit later!
Other Ways You Can Help
Donate Materials & Kitchenware! We of course will still take donated building materials and kitchenware. So if you have some stuff sitting in the garage, basement or know of someone who could help out in this way please let us know! Just leave us a note on the comment tab.
Volunteer! We also need volunteers to help us on the work days. The first work day is scheduled on December 29th, from 9am - 5pm. You can choose your work hours but we ask for a 3 hour minimum commitment. We could use 30-35 people on this day as we plan to tackle the biggest workload. We will also be scheduling additional work days in January to finish what we didn't get done on the 29th and to start painting. For an up-to-date listing of scheduled work days visit our group page at http://www.meetup.com/ServeKC.