WRITTEN BY BRENT LAGER
Three days late but Merry Christmas everyone!
Our wonderful marketing director had the great idea of me writing a year-in-review piece. It includes a rundown of all the milestones we hit this past year, and it was supposed to be done by Christmas. But in full disclosure, I got sucked into that holiday coma of family, friends and food, so my apologies for the delay.
Still, it’s better late than never, right? So, without further hesitation, here’s what The Call KC accomplished in 2015.
- Let’s start with the numbers. This year alone, we helped recruit and connect 1,627 volunteers with 61 different charities in KC. I think I’m going to retype that again — 1,627 volunteers! With that army, we amassed 4,333 service hours. Again — 4,333 service hours!Words can’t do justice to how amazing that is.
- To that end, I want to thank everyone who volunteered through our services this year or connected us to someone who did. There is nothing I can write to express the gratitude we have for you caring about others over yourself. Nothing. Still, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
- Two more notes on the numbers — check out our website, Instagram account and Facebook page for photos of volunteers in action. We don’t get shots of everyone, but we sure like to spread the love when we do. Secondly, we’re hoping to double these numbers next year. Just think what 3,000 volunteers and 9,000 service hours could do for our communities.
- At this time, I’d like to highlight a few group partners. Back in April, we accomplished our largest event to date when we helped 900 students from North Kansas City High School serve. In 2016, NKCHS will be back plus a new high school, Park Hill South. We also again helped the kids at Overland Trail Elementary volunteer twice a month, same with the Raytown volleyball and Piper wrestling programs and several groups at Shawnee Mission Northwest.
- From the rotary clubs (thanks in particular to KCI Rotary who gave us an honorary membership) to the retirement facilities (McCrite Plaza) to the corporate groups (Go Local Interactive, VinSolutions, Rockhill Insurance) to the student groups (Alpha Phi Omega, Pre-Medical Society of UMKC) — we thank you for your consistent collaboration. And to all the other groups we worked with, even if it was just a one-time outing, thank you for caring. Truly, thank you.
- For the third straight year, we held our annual Socktober drive in October and it was our best one yet. We received 687 pairs of new socks plus 15 coats for the homeless, which were donated to Morning Glory Ministries and The Sheffield Place.
- We also held our first two fundraising events, a launch party back in April at McFadden’s and a benefit concert in October at The Tank Room. We had more than 350 people attend and raised nearly $4,000, which went directly towards growing this movement.
- A las, I’d also be ashamed if I didn’t thank the supporters that donated to our cause at those events, or any other time over these last 12 months. Personally, I’m so indebted to you for that faith in this nonprofit. And he won’t like this, but Brian Himes recently donated $5,000 earlier this month. It was our biggest gift ever and he did it in such a humble matter that I want to recognize him. Thank you Brian.
- Speaking of growth, we also expanded our board of directors and staff every quarter. These unbelievable people volunteer their time, skills and sometimes money on a weekly basis. Much like the volunteers we connect with other charities, they’re the reason for this organization’s present growth and future success.
I know I’m leaving so much out and I need to thank even more people, but man it’s hard to fit 365 days into a single blog post. However, I think the picture has clearly been painted — this is working! Our goal of creating a social movement built upon love and kindness through volunteerism is coming to a reality before our very eyes. The crazy thing is that this is just the beginning.
A few teasers for 2016: 1) A fresh new website coming out soon that will make volunteering through us even easier; 2) New programs for corporations, schools, churches and other large groups that will help promote, connect and sustain us far into the future; 3) Growth of our outreach, recruitment and operations staffs.
While I’m sad to see 2015 come to a close (the years just go by so much faster as you get older), I’m thoroughly excited to see what lies ahead. And I want you to be a part of it. Contact me to see how you can join us in changing this world for the better through our hearts, our minds and our service.
May God shine upon you all in 2016 and beyond — Happy New Year!