Warming the Hearts of Kansas City’s Homeless
Magic, music, hot chocolate, and more – these are just a few of the things that Kansas City residents enjoy at the twice-a-year events put on by nonprofit Care of Poor People, Inc. (COPP) in the Kansas City area. COPP serves the city’s homeless and low-income populations by hosting major events that take place around Thanksgiving and Easter for up to 2,300 residents in need. For the past 12 years, Amway IBOs George and Diana Arnold have volunteered their time for these events.
“At our last event, we had 85 ten-foot tables filled with clothing stacked a minimum of 4 feet high,” says George, who likes to wear a whimsical hat while working the events to make people smile and to make him more easily identifiable to volunteers. Diana adds, “We always have coffee and hot chocolate, especially in the winter after Thanksgiving.”
Both volunteers and those served walk away from the events with a newfound appreciation. “We’ve gotten stories from child volunteers saying, ‘I never realized how good I had it,’” notes George. He also shares one woman’s story that is particularly memorable for him. After a COPP event, he gave the woman a ride home, and six months later he ran into her at the next COPP event – only this time, she was on the other side of the volunteer table. “I asked her what happened, and she said that she had gotten the supplies she needed at the last event and was able to dress up, get a job, and give back to the community,” he shares.
“I have a firm belief in the idea that where there’s a will, there’s a way. I believe that I’m put in touch with people who have a need, and I help to fill that need,” says George, who received the 2011 COPP Compassion Award. “That’s what I try to do with Amway, too.”
More photos on Flickr: