Thursday, February 16, 2017

Changes for the Better

“Perception is everything” – Pete Chapman – former MWSU Director of Athletics.
This was one of many mantras that Mr. Chapman wanted to instill in every part of Western athletics during his tenure as the lead man. He used this saying as motivation to achieve objectives and goals.
However, in some cases perceptions are skewed. Such is the case I came across at St. Joseph’s Haven.
I first caught a glimpse of him at the ripe age of 14 in 1984. I was a freshman hot-shot playing shortstop for my local high school and he was my opposite number, but a seasoned junior instead of a gangly freshman. When it wasn’t my turn at the plate, I watched him play intently. I gathered up as much visual information as I could from someone that was obviously better than I was.
Over the years we played against each other both in high school and summer ball. We also competed after the school years were over in a local softball league. I always thought he was a good athlete and ball player. He never said a whole lot, but also didn’t come across as someone you would not want to get to talk with at any time.
Fast-forward to October 2016. While working an event at St. Joseph’s Haven, I spotted him again. For the first time in 20 years, the guy that I competed against and watched intently from a distance was here. But why?
I turned to Dee Ann Stamper, assistant at the Haven and posed the question. “What’s (name withheld) doing here?“ She replied,“he got approved last week and moved in.” She then informed me that he has memory issues and what doctors feel are the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s’ Disease. He has been bouncing around from place to place, not remembering where he was, where he worked, and sometimes what time of day it is.
My heart sunk a bit.
I had always heard the saying “life is fragile,” but didn’t really understand that until watching him get in line for food at the Haven. Again, as I did 20 years ago, I found myself watching him, this time from a homeless shelter. I could have walked up to him, slapped him on the back and said “Hello.” But, would he remember me? Would he know that we competed on the same field? Would he even care?
The perception of those with mental illness and or disabilities varies from person to person. Those who work in those fields, such as our caregivers at CMC, know how mental illness and disabilities can affect people and work on a daily basis to provide supportive services for them. But for someone like me, who only knows how it affects me personally, needs an education on mental illness and the disabled and how sometimes it renders them homeless.
To start the learning process, sometimes you need your heart to sink a little bit to really understand. It happened to me.
Brett King

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Thank You!

Thank you for making 2016 yet another remarkable year for The InterServ Foundation! This past June marked a decade of nonprofit service for The Foundation. Our loyal and dedicated staff has done an incredible job at expanding our outreach while strengthening our relationships with donors and volunteers.

Once again, you have helped us to assure funding for InterServ and Community Missions Corporation. This year, we are well on our way to providing $541,000 in support for the people who rely on InterServ and CMC every month, for help with meeting their own basic needs and providing for their families. To date, among the many accomplishments enjoyed by The Foundation are:

• Food Drives in schools, businesses, and churches that have allowed us to put food on the tables of more than 2,800 households;

• Procuring donations that have helped feed nearly 300 seniors more than 33,000 meals in their homes and at our congregate meals sites;

• Grants and contracts that allow more than 200 seniors and persons with disabilities the luxury of aging gracefully in the homes of their own choosing;

• Corporate sponsorships that allowed 800 youths to play in summer basketball and volleyballs leagues that support a youth program that offers recreational activities, mentoring and tutoring for nearly 200 school-aged children and youths;

• Special events and donations that permit early care and educational programming for more than 200 young children, regardless of their ability to pay, setting them up to enjoy success in school and in life;

• Support for volunteers of all ages, in their pursuit of giving back to a community that has been good to them by helping others to live better lives;

• Support to a mid-town campus that provides a home to formerly chronically homeless men and a 3-month winter shelter to those who remain on the streets.

And all of this while in the midst of a multi-million dollar capital campaign to build a new community center! We are truly blessed.

Our goal is to be financially earnest while increasing our impact in the community. You truly make this possible! The InterServ Foundation is stronger than ever due to our continually-expanding list of friends who come together to donate time, resources, and talent in support of our important mission. Our Board is hard at work, building relationships with donors and assuring that the assets of InterServ are working for us.

Thank you for being a part of The InterServ Foundation’s mission of support. We are eternally grateful for everything you do that makes our mission a reality!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From the Capital Campaign

I am happy to announce the InterServ Capital Campaign has reached 80% of its $5,000,000 goal. This is a significant threshold and the Campaign Committee is very grateful for all the support it has received from the community. The Committee and the InterServ Foundation staff continue to explore and seek out other sources of funding for the new building complex.

In early January, we were elated to learn the campaign had been awarded $250,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program Tax Credits. Qualifying donors will receive a 50% Missouri Income Tax Credit. In addition, you may be entitled to a charitable contribution deduction on your federal and state tax returns.

A sample of how the Tax Credits work has been included in this newsletter. Anyone interested in the Tax Credits should contact either Bridget Supple, or Brett King, at the Foundation office, as soon as possible, since they are only available as long as they last.

Although we have made great progress in the campaign, we still have a steep road ahead of us in raising another $1,000,000 to achieve our goal. Therefore, we are asking for everyone to please consider a gift to the campaign, or provide us with any prospects. Gifts can be made payable over several years and through various payment options.

InterServ has long served the needs of the community and has been an anchor for the South Side. It is our hope to conclude the campaign by June 30. But, we need your help. If you have not already made a contribution, please consider one. Through your generosity, we will be able to build a better future for the community, as well as strengthening and sustaining our services to the South Side.

Over the last 107 years, InterServ has always been there for us, now is the time for us to be there for InterServ.

Joe K. Houts
Building InterServ Capital Campaign chair

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This season of thanksgiving, extending over the next two months, is busy and rewarding for InterServ. We witness people, in word and deed – through their workplace, places of worship, schools and in their homes – radiate the definition of community as a gathering of people who care about one another.

One could say that from those expressions of goodwill and generosity that we can better carry out the work of the organization to effectively address difficult social issues; hunger, homelessness, isolation, discrimination, poverty. Yet your sharing that supports InterServ is about the compassion of faithfully serving people extending hope, connectedness and sense of community to those in need, especially to those facing hardships, distress or brokenness or as the Old Testament defines, as the caring for the widow, the orphan and the stranger.

Whether in volunteering or contributions, you are important to the mission of InterServ because of the caring and compassion that you make visible in our community through our service centers, in neighborhoods, in homes. The In-Sight newsletter provides opportunities to be a part of this holiday season and it gives wonderful examples of what your compassion looks like to the elderly and homebound senior, to the latchkey youth, to the young child in early care & education centers, to families seeking assistance with basic needs.

We are grateful for the gift that God has given us through Christ and the social teaching of the Gospel that shape and guide our work. And on behalf of the board of directors, staff, volunteers and those served, we give thanks for your support in word and deed in this blessed and holy season knowing that God’s love and compassion comes through each of us.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Angel Tree Brightens Christmas for Seniors

Six months ago she didn’t expect to make it to Christmas.  Yet, her name is one of those on our senior angel tree list this year.  He is has an extremely low income, and no family around to care for him.  Both of these people will have a little nicer Christmas this year, because they are on InterServ’s Senior Angel Tree.  We have approximately 30 more seniors to be adopted. 

Each year, InterServ helps its senior services clients who are in special need, due to low income or lack of family support, to have a better Christmas than they might otherwise have.  You can help by calling Laurie Piper at 816-238-4511 Ext. 129 or e-mail 

As you begin to think about Christmas shopping, think about helping a senior on our angel tree list.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

United Way Time!

InterServ staff and volunteers have been pounding the pavement at local United Way rallies held by businesses and corporations around the area recently.
The support that United Way gives InterServ is vital to our programming. As the largest recipient of UW funding, InterServ gladly promotes the UW campaign to raise a little over $3 million to support the 18 agencies and its 6 initiatives.
Please support the local United Way! The campaign runs through the end of October!

Monday, March 16, 2015

InterServ announces Building InterServ

$5 million capital campaign to replace wesley center
St. Joseph, Mo. _ After many years of exploration, information gathering and prayer, The InterServ
Foundation, in support of Interfaith Community Services, Inc., has announced a goal of $5 million to build a new health and wellness center in south St. Joseph.
The “Building InterServ” capital campaign was approved by both the InterServ Board of Directors and The InterServ Foundation Board of Directors during the summer of 2014 and a capital campaign committee was formed. This committee is chaired by Mr. Joseph K. Houts, Jr. and co-chaired by Mrs. Joyce Edwards.
The focus of the five-year plan is to secure funding to erect a new community center in support of
InterServ’s faithful commitment to our community that began in 1909. All campaign funding will support new construction at the corner of Cherokee and King Hill Avenue that will replace the Wesley Center and allow InterServ to continue operations in St. Joseph for another 100 years.
Through the combined efforts of leadership at both InterServ and The InterServ Foundation, $1,694,745 of the $5 million goal has been raised with total commitment by both InterServ boards, its administration and staff.
Ellison-Auxier Architects, Inc. will be the design firm for the project. Preliminary work on the design has been started and will continue over the next year, providing for a new gymnasium, commons area, fitness/weightroom, kitchen and food pantry.
For more information concerning “Building InterServ” contact The InterServ Foundation at (816) 238-4511, ext. 222 or at