On June 8, 1966, a tornado roared through Topeka, killing 17 people and injuring hundreds. The cost of property damage was $100 million. One of the agencies helping people in need during the aftermath was a six-month old agency named “Doorstep,” which at that time consisted of six area churches.
Doorstep grew from this humble beginning, and now has 52 interfaith member congregations working together to provide emergency aid to those in need – food, clothing, household goods, rent and utility assistance, dental and prescription assistance, as well as help with local transportation. Through its history, Doorstep has helped more than 407,000 households, which includes more than 970,000 individuals. From a tornado in 1966 to a pandemic in 2021, for the past 55 years, Doorstep has been there for our neighbors in need.
Doorstep is now in the midst of a year-long 55th Anniversary Celebration, celebrating all that has been accomplished over the years, and seeking “to invite, involve, include, and inspire people to participate in Doorstep’s mission,” according to Lisa Cain, Executive Director.
“We want to thank all those who have been faithful supporters over the years,” Cain said. “We could not have accomplished anything without your support. We give thanks for the support we have received from religious organizations, civic organizations; support we have received from federal and local governmental agencies; as well as the support we have received from local businesses and corporate sponsors. And we give thanks for members of the media, who tell the wider community about what we do to make Topeka a great place to live!”
Doorstep has started a “55th Anniversary Fund” and seeks to raise funds for its assistance programs, capital improvements, an endowment fund, and operating expenses. For example, Doorstep currently has a heating/cooling system that is more than 60 years old.
“We are seeking to replace that system, before it completely quits, with a more energy-efficient system that will help us to reduce our monthly utility bills,” Cain said. “The savings in utility costs can be re-allocated to help those in need.”
Running through April 15, Doorstep has a Matching Funds Challenge that you can take advantage of. A generous couple has pledged $20,000 towards Doorstep’s HVAC replacement fund. For every $2 you donate, the matching funders will add $1 to that donation.
If you would like to contribute, checks may be made payable to “Doorstep, Inc.” and note on the memo line “For 55th Anniversary HVAC Matching Fund.” Gifts may be mailed or brought to Doorstep, Inc., 1119 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66604. You can also donate by visiting www.doorsteptopeka.org/Donate.
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