Community Service

Home Rental Services at Pop Tab Pandemonium 2017!

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Pop Tab EventThis past weekend was the annual Pop Tab Pandemonium event supporting the efforts of the Ronald McDonald House. It was a beautiful day! We enjoyed spending time together supporting a great cause.

The Mission

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City keeps families with sick children close to each other and the care and resources they need. Their three houses are adjacent to Children’s Mercy Hospital. They create places of respite where families can rally around and support one another. While they’re physically located near Children’s Mercy downtown, they serve all pediatric hospitals in Kansas City.

The Event

Pop Tab EventPop Tab Pandemonium is an event where people bring aluminum pop tabs and old keys that they’ve collected as a donation for the Ronald McDonald house. Home Rental Services saves pop tabs all year long, and in the course of doing business as a residential property management company, we accumulate quite a collection of keys that can be recycled. We had hundreds of keys and a bunch of tabs to drop off! This year, we had even more metal to donate because our locksmith gave us old padlocks, lock boxes and keys to take to the event. The box we used for that part of our donation was incredibly heavy.

Ronald McDonald house partners with a local salvage and recycling company to convert the keys and tabs to dollars that go directly towards supporting the Ronald McDonald house programs and projects.

On any given night, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City serves 87 families. Last year, our Houses and Family Room provided lodging to more than 4,500 families as well as opened our doors to support over 63,000 visits from family and friends of in-patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Pop Tab Event

2016 KVC Shopping Night at Target!

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2016 KVC Shopping at Target

In its 46-year history, KVC (formerly Kaw Valley Center) has grown from a single home founded by volunteers to help at-risk boys to a comprehensive organization touching the lives of over 61,000 children and families each year. Wow.

We support the mission of KVC by volunteering to buy presents for some of the children they are helping. On Monday, November 14th, the entire Home Rental Services team met at Target to buy gifts for 18 kids that otherwise wouldn’t be getting presents for Christmas.

We’ve done this for years and had the process down to a science.

Each child has a manilla folder with two plastic bags inside. The plastic bags have their name written on them. Taped to the outside of the folder are the specifics about the child… their name, age, gender, shoe size, shirt size, pant size and more.

When we check out, we put gift receipts in the folder, place the items in the plastic bags with the child’s name on it, and the folder into the bag. If we needed to use more than one bag, we tie multiple bags together. The reason for all this organization is that it makes wrapping the presents and keeping all the gifts together for each child much easier!

Target was a great partner again this year.

It feels so good to do something that you know is going to make a difference in a child’s life.  It was also a wonderful way for our team to come together and start getting into the holiday spirit.  Our good friends at Target set up two special lanes for us to check out in, and they took 5% off of our purchases, even for those of us that didn’t have a Target Red Card! They also donated $15 Target gift cards to each of the 18 children!!! We were so thankful for their generosity.

We hope you can get involved by helping your favorite NFP.

If you haven’t already done something to give back this year, consider getting involved with your favorite not-for-profit that’s trying to make a difference. It will make your holidays even better!

Kansas City Anti-Violence Project – Xtravaganza!

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KCAVP XtravaganzaRecently, we supported KCAVP’s mission of anti-violence by attending the 2016 Extravaganza. Joshua, one of our property managers, has volunteered at KCAVP for 4 years and organized the entire event. (He did a GREAT job!)

The theme for the evening was a carnival, complete with a magician, entertainers, games and a balloon artist. The host for the evening was award-winning magician Victor Le’Yon. The featured entertainers were from MoonDrop Circus. Balloon artistry was created by Astro the Clown of PopCulture Sculptures.

Kandy loved the stilt walkers and jugglers. It was just like being “under the big top!” She said the games reminded her of childhood school carnivals.

KCAVP XtravaganzaShe loved the ring toss game, because whatever bottle you were able to get a ring around you got to keep! There were all kinds of bottles ranging from water to wine. It wasn’t easy to win… lots of strategies were tried including the “frisbee” throw and throwing all three rings at the same time.

A couple of our employees volunteered to help at the event. Melissa helped with the silent auction that included trips to Disney and Cozumel, concert tickets and more. Adam volunteered to help with the balloon darts with prizes ranging from AMC movie tickets to Planet Sub gift cards.

It was a fun evening for all!

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) is a nonprofit corporation committed to providing domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes advocacy and education to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. Currently, KCAVP is the only LGBTQ-specific domestic violence or sexual assault service in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, or Iowa.

KVC Holiday Heroes – Shopping and Wrapping!

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KVC Holiday Heroes Program

For many years now, we’ve partnered with KVC Health Systems and participated in their Holiday Heroes program. This program supports kids living in foster care that might not otherwise get presents during the holidays.

Kids living in foster care may wonder “will Santa find me?” or “will I have gifts to open?”

KVC had 625 children that they needed to find Holiday Heroes for this year. As a company, we were able to help 25 of those kids!

Shopping

Our tradition is to meet at Target at 5:30pm to shop for the kids. Our team and their families participate.

With so many kids, we figured out a few years ago that things go more smoothly when we’re organized. Every child has a card with their name, age and things they would like for Christmas. We keep each card with an envelope and bags so that when checking out, we can keep the gift receipts and gifts together for each child.

We break up into teams with 2-3 kids per team. About two hours later, we’re checked out and hungry (it’s 7:30pm!). Kandy takes the entire team to dinner to rest and recharge.

KVC Shopping 2015 KVC Shopping 2015

Wrapping

The next step is to wrap all of the presents. We usually pick a Friday (or two!) and spend the morning wrapping packages together. It’s a labor of love to get dozens of presents wrapped and organized for delivery to the kids.

KVC Wrapping 2015 KVC Wrapping 2015

It’s an amazing feeling to know you are helping a child during the holidays. Especially a child that’s had his or her life disrupted and is living in foster care. It’s still early December. If you’ve read this story and wonder what you could do to help, contacting KVC might be a good place to start!

Past Holiday Heroes events:

Quick background on KVC
KVC Health Systems is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Kansas City that provides medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education to children. In its 45-year history, KVC has grown from a home for at-risk boys to a $135-million national organization touching the lives of over 50,000 children and families each year.

KVC Wrapping Party! [PICS]

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We mentioned in a blog post a couple of weeks ago that we adopted 20 kids through KVC for Christmas this year.  Last week, our entire team got together on Tuesday for a day of wrapping.  With four to seven presents per child, we had a LOT of wrapping to do!

We turned on the Holiday tunes and rolled up our sleeves.  It looked like an assembly line in both of our conference rooms and lining the halls.  You can see in the first picture below some of the wrapped packages, and the last picture shows the 20 green bags ready to be delivered to KVC!  We had a blast and it’s for a great cause!

2014 KVC Wrapping Team!

KVC Shopping Night at Target! [PICS]

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We mentioned in our blog post on October 2nd that we were adopting twenty kids through KVC this Christmas!  Last night, we all went to Target to get the shopping done.  What a great time we had together!

2014-KVC-Shopping-Starting

We had boys and girls from 7 to 17 to shop for and ended up hitting just about every square inch of the store to get everything we needed.  In years past, it has taken us up to three hours to get everything purchased and into our cars.  This year, it took an hour and a half because Melissa and Sarah, our awesome admins, made sure we had packets and bags for each child.

2014-KVC-Shopping-MeehanGirls 2014-KVC-Shopping-TheCareys 2014-KVC-Shopping-SarahAndMatt 2014-KVC-Shopping-AmyAndRegan

It feels so good to do something that you know is going to make a difference in a child’s life.  It was also a wonderful way for our team to come together and start getting into the holiday spirit.  Our good friends at Target set up a special lane for us to check out in, and they took 5% off of our purchases, even for those of us that didn’t have a Target Red Card!

2014-KVC-Shopping-TheEnd

If you notice a bunch of trash bags in the carts, they are our special, white Santa bags for keeping each child’s gifts organized.  Thank you so much to Chanickgwa for her excellent service at Target at 119th and Blue Valley Parkway!

The last thing for us to do is to have our wrapping party that happens at the end of November.  We will be doing a blog post about that with pictures of all the presents ready to go!  If you haven’t already done something to give back this year, consider getting involved with KVC, Harvesters, or any other Not-For-Profit that you want to support.  It will make your holidays even better!

Caitlin Volunteers With Christmas in October [PICS]

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Christmas In October LogoMany of you know that we have a soft spot in our hearts for not-for-profit organizations.  We try to give back throughout the year.  Recently, Caitlin volunteered with Christmas in October.

Christmas in October is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income, elderly, disabled and Veteran homeowners.

Christmas in October selected an elderly woman named Linda to receive help getting a bunch of important home projects done.  Caitlin showed up at Linda’s home with 10 other volunteers on Saturday for a full day of work.  The fun thing is that Linda’s neighbors came over to share that Christmas in October had helped with their house last year!

Exterior

Christmas In October - Caitlin
Caitlin working on one of the basement windows

Linda’s home was built in 1917 and the basement windows did not shut or seal any more.  Caitlin and the team scraped the old peeling paint off of the window frames, repaired/replaced wood damaged by rot and termites, and then painted the wood and trimmed down the windows so they would close and seal.  Linda’s basement will be nice and warm this winter!

Back Door

The volunteers also replaced her back door.  The old door was rotten and not meant to be used as an exterior door.  The new external door was made of metal and will protect against the elements.

Lighting

There were electrical engineers that volunteered that day, and they were able to install a new flood light right next to the new back door for added security.  They went on to install two new lights in Linda’s basement, and a new light in her kitchen.

Bathroom

Linda was having some trouble with the plumbing in her only bathroom.  The team was able to replace many of the plumbing lines and fixtures and get things working properly again.

Deck

Caitlin and the team helped replace the stairs on Linda’s deck.  They also added a new hand rail, replaced an existing hand rail, and added additional structural support to the deck.

It was a good day and a lot of work was done to help Linda have a more comfortable and safe home.  She was on  her front porch throughout the day and kept telling the team how much she appreciated their efforts.  It’s an awesome feeling when you know you have really helped someone!

Christmas in October - Back Door Christmas in October - Deck and Stairs

Free Recycling and Shredding Extravaganza – October 18th, 2014

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Reuse-Reduce-RecycleWe wanted to let you know that there is going to be a free, large item recycling event, as well as free shredding (with suggested donation) on Saturday, October 18th, 2014.  This is an opportunity to recycle more materials than ever before!  We have things from the Home Rental Services office to take, and many of our staff are going to take boxes of paperwork to shred and other items from their homes to recycle.

Location for the Event

Black & Veatch
11401 Lamar Ave.
Overland Park, KS  66211
Map and Directions

What You Can Bring

  • Confidential documents, which will be destroyed on site by ProShred Security, and you can watch. The suggested donation for this service is $5 for a standard file box and $10 for larger quantities.
  • Cell phones will be collected by Sprint. Your old cell phone has moved from your hip, pocket or purse into a drawer or cabinet and is ready for recycling. Sprint will be on hand to make certain your phone is properly recycled while benefiting great charities such as the Boys and Girls Club of America.
  • Usable building material will be collected by Heartland Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Donate your new and usable building materials, hardware, fixtures and appliances to ReStore. Your donations may be tax deductible, and will benefit Heartland Habitat for Humanity’s building projects.
  • Clothing will be collected by Goodwill Industries. Clothing, housewares, small appliances, toys and many other items will be accepted.
  • Electronics such as computers, monitors, printers, TVs, VCRs and stereos will be responsibly recycled by Surplus Exchange. While most items will be accepted at no charge, there will be a fee of $10 for monitors, and $10-$25 for TVs.
  • Bicycles will be collected by Revolve. Give your unwanted bike new life and bring a smile to another by donating it. Revolve will repair and reuse whatever is feasible on your old bike and recycle the rest.
  • Up to 10 fluorescent bulbs per vehicle will be collected by Overland Park’s building maintenance division.
  • Fabric and notions will be collected by Fabric Recycles.
  • Garden tools are being collected by Kansas City Community Gardens. Other acceptable items include shovels, spades, garden forks, cultivators, rakes (not leaf rakes), garden hand tools, wheel barrows, watering wands and water heads.
  • Gently used shoes are being collected including running shoes, work boots, dress shoes, sandals and cowboy boots. Shoe Kansas City ask for all sizes of shoes for both children and adults.
  • Durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower and bath chairs, crutches, hospital beds and more will be accepted by the Coalition for Independence to allow individuals to live as independently as possible.

Please Contact Jim Twigg with any Questions

Jim Twigg
(913) 895-6273
jim.twigg@opkansas.org

Overland Park Recycling Event – April 27th from 8am to 2pm

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RecyclingOn Saturday, April 27, In conjunction with Electronics Recycling, and along with corporate sponsor Black & Veatch, 11401 Lamar, the Overland Park 2013 Spring Recycling Extravaganza will offer opportunities to recycle more materials than ever before.   This is an excellent opportunity to remove some of the clutter, especially some items that aren’t as easy to dispose of.

Here is a map to the recycling event.

You can bring:

  • Confidential documents, which will be destroyed on site by ProShred Security, and you can watch. The suggested donation for this service is $5 for a standard file box and $10 for larger quantities.
  • Cell phones will be collected by Sprint. Your old cell phone has moved from your hip, pocket or purse into a drawer or cabinet and is ready for recycling. Sprint will be on hand to make certain your phone is properly recycled while benefiting great charities such as the Boys and Girls Club of America.
  • Usable building material will be collected by Heartland Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Donate your new and usable building materials, hardware, fixtures and appliances to ReStore. Your donations may be tax deductible, and will benefit Heartland Habitat for Humanity’s building projects.
  • Clothing will be collected by Goodwill Industries. Clothing, housewares, small appliances, furniture, toys and many other items will be accepted.
  • Electronics such as computers, monitors, printers, TVs, VCRs and stereos will be responsibly recycled by Surplus Exchange. While most items will be accepted at no charge, there will be a fee of $10 for monitors, and $10-$25 for TVs.
  • Bicycles will be collected by Revolve. Give your unwanted bike new life and bring a smile to another by donating it. Revolve will repair and reuse whatever is feasible on your old bike and recycle the rest.
  • Used carpet and padding will be collected by Deffenbaugh and recycled by Heritage Recycling for use in manufacturing polypropylene pellets, which are used to make buckets, as well as plastic parts in the automobile industry.

Here is the link to the official event page.  We hope you can take advantage of this great opportunity to recycle and maybe even help area not-for-profits out!

Shredding

RecycleSpot.org – Where to Recycle in Greater Kansas City

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Our team at Home Rental Services believes that it is important to recycle.  If you have known us for very long, you have seen that we are raving fans of the Ronald McDonald house pop-tab and key recycling program.

We have found a great resource for all recycling called RecycleSpot.org.  They can help you figure out what to do with all kinds of waste including hazardous materials (paint and varnish), technology (computers and old TVs) as well as glass, yard waste and old prescription drugs.

One of the best features about their web site is the ability to search by material, community or service provider.  In other words, you can type in GLASS and your zip code to find where to recycle glass nearby.

Kandy connected the dots between key and pop-tab recycling and RecycleSpot.org.  Apparently, RecycleSpot.org didn’t have a good referral partner for old keys… which is perfect for the Ronald McDonald house!  Kandy did an introduction and they are talking to see how they can work together.  How cool is that?

If you have any tips on recycling or appreciated us telling you about RecycleSpot.org, please leave us a comment below!