City Union Mission kicked off their annual Celebrate Hope campaign Thursday, Oct. 1. The organization hopes to raise $7 million—a significant portion of the Mission’s yearly operating budget through January 31, 2021.
“Economic hardship, magnified by the Covid-19 crisis, lack of opportunity and affordable housing and other tragedies continue to jeopardize people in our community,” Chief Executive Officer Terry Megli said. “The need for food, shelter and life-transforming guidance remains ongoing and critical.”
Megli says he sees no indication that the demand on their services will decline in 2021 and are preparing for an increase in requests for assistance. That may be more true for Kansas City which continues to have Covid operating restrictions on businesses. The city and county-imposed restrictions have resulted in tens of thousands of unemployed individuals. To date, just over 100 people have died of the coronavirus in Jackson County – less than the annual homicide rate in Kansas City.
The Mission provides safe refuge and life essentials for as many as 300 homeless men, women and children. It also serves an average of 550 meals to shelter guests and hungry people from surrounding neighborhoods. Christ-centered recovery and spiritual guidance – along with adult education, career development and job placement assistance – are also provided for those wishing to rebuild stable and productive lives.
In contrast to other local organizations, the Mission accepts no funding that would compromise their faith-based principles, and relies solely on the support of individuals, churches, businesses and foundations to meet their annual campaign goal.
That’s why they rely more heavily on the public for support.
“We need the partnership of friends and supporters so we can continue to grow with the changing needs of the community and ensure that those who are poor, homeless or underserved throughout the metro area have the opportunity for a better life,” said Megli. “This campaign is a tangible way people can take action and do something to impact the lives of our hurting neighbors.”
Donations can be made online at cityunionmission.org or mailed to City Union Mission, P.O. Box 270107, Kansas City, MO 64127. All gifts received by December 31 are tax-deductible for 2020, and donations received by January 31, 2021, will be counted toward the campaign goal. “We are thankful for every gift – no matter how big or how small – because every dollar makes a difference in the hearts and lives of the guests we serve!” Megli said.
More information about City Union Mission’s full range of programs and services for homeless and struggling families and individuals or to make a donation can be found at cityunionmission.org.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice