Community Service

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!

Pop Tab Pandemonium 2012 – 10,000 Pound Goal Reached!

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Every year, we support the Ronald McDonald House through their Pop-Tab Pandemonium event.  It was this past Saturday, May 12th. We took a bunch of old keys and collected pop tabs to donate!  We followed up with Allen at the Ronald McDonald House and they collected 10.5 tons of pop tabs!  It is amazing to see huge cardboard bins full of pop tabs from beverage and soup cans!

Pop-Tab Pandemonium is an opportunity for groups and individuals across the metro area to visit the Ronald McDonald House and drop off pop-tabs.  An important source of funding for the Ronald McDonald house is the collection of pop can tabs and brass keys.  The pop can tabs have a high percentage of aluminum and are worth more as scrap than the rest of an aluminum can.  The brass keys are valuable as well for scrap.  Ronald McDonald house works with a local scrap metal company to convert the tabs and keys to cash to support their programs and services.

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families by providing a “home away from home” for families traveling to Kansas City for their child’s medical care. On any given night, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City serves 67 families. Annually, their Houses and Family Room provide lodging to nearly 6,000 families as well as open our doors to support over 41,000 visits from family and friends of in-patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  It takes a lot of money to make this happen.

 

Activities included:

  • Ronald McDonald
  • House tours
  • Refreshments & Lunch
  • KCMO Fire Truck
  • KCMO Police SWAT Team
  • Face painting
  • Magician, Jugglers & Animal Balloons

Pop Tab Pandemonium – An Opportunity to Give Back

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Every year, we support the efforts of the Ronald McDonald House through their “Pop Tab Pandemonium” event.  This year, the event will be held on Saturday, May 12th and we would love for you to join us there!  This is the event where people bring the aluminum pop tabs that they have collected as a donation.  In our business of residential property management, we accumulate quite a collection of keys.  These, along with pop tabs we save, are donated to the Ronald McDonald house.  The 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.

Please consider saving old keys and tabs off of pop cans, soup cans, pet food cans and anything else with a pull tab.

You can donate them in three easy ways:
1) Drop them by our office at 6900 College Blvd., Suite 990 and we will make sure they get donated at the event on May 12th.
2) Email info@home4rent.com and we will arrange a time to come pick up your keys and tabs to donate on May 12th.
3) Go to the Pop Tab Pandemonium event to donate what you have collected.  We will see you there!

[Download the Event Flyer]
Pop Tab Pandemonium Event Details

Pop-Tab Pandemonium
Sat, 12 May, 2012 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Pop-Tab Pandemonium is an opportunity for groups and individuals across the metro area to visit the Ronald McDonald House and drop off pop-tabs.

Activities include:
Ronald McDonald
House tours
Refreshments & Lunch
KCMO Fire Truck
KCMO Police SWAT Team
Face painting
Magician, Jugglers & Animal Balloons

Location:
Longfellow House Parking Lot
2502 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64108

Kandy Meehan Receives 2012 Influential Woman Award

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We believe that every business should be involved in their local community as a way to give back.  At Home Rental Services, we are involved in multiple not for profit organizations.  We post stories in our blog at least quarterly to make you aware of some of these organizations with the hope that you might want to get involved as well.

We don’t need a “pat on the back” for our efforts… we feel it is our corporate responsibility. However, we thought it would be fun to share this great news!

Kandy Meehan, the owner of Home Rental Services, was just selected as a 2012 Influential Woman by KC Business magazine!  She is one of 32 female leaders to be honored.  This is the sixth year that this program has been in place to recognize outstanding female Kansas City leaders in the creative, entreprenurial, nonprofit and corporate communities.

An independent panel of area business and civic leaders selected this exclusive group based on dedication, personal growth, hard work and community involvement.  The Influential Women will be profiled in the March 2012 issue of KC Business.  They will also be recognized at an exclusive networking and cocktail reception in March at the National World War I Museum.

Owner Spotlight – Artists Helping the Homeless

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Kar Woo has been a client of Home Rental Services for more than a decade.  We are thankful to have his business and proud of his efforts in our community.  Kar is the President of the Not For Profit organization called Artists Helping the Homeless.  Visit their web site to learn more.

Artists Helping The Homeless is a non-profit 501c3 public charity organization that seeks to reduce the need and cost of homeless care in several ways.  The BE THE CHANGE Van provides transportation and assistance in accessing resources to get off the street.  Two meal programs, one in Kansas City, another in Olathe, each serve one night a week.  Their goal is to serve the homeless in their environment, a setting more comfortable to them.  They raise money through art to help individuals who need a new beginning.  Be sure to watch for different art events throughout the year to help raise awareness for this important cause.

We thought we would pass on the wonderful message that we received from Kar a few days ago.  It is a great lesson in celebrating the previous year while planning for the new year.  A lesson that can be applied to your personal and professional life!

For the young couple jumping freight trains that were beaten up in Kansas City, who we gave a safe place to stay, linked up with family and working with other services assisted with medical care and transportation, THANK YOU
For the businessman who developed dementia, lost his business, home and family, who we, working with the VA, assisted in getting the treatment needed, THANK YOU
For the senior in high school that aged out of foster care, who working with the school and other services we sheltered, tutored and took to school, that got his diploma and is now attending college, THANK YOU

Artists Helping the Homeless Accomplishments

  • Fed 43,130 meails on Thursdays and Sundays
  • Provided 7,363 rides to 1,574 people
  • Assisted 83 youth in staying or getting off the street
  • Assisted 33 chronic homeless get off the street
  • Saved the Kansas City Community over $1,750,000 in ambulance, hospital, police and judicial fees

Artists Helping the Homeless Goals for 2012

  • Open an emergency intervention center
  • The center will also serve as the new headquarters

We would love to hear from you if this story has touched you in some way!  Please tell us YOUR story in the comment area below!

Making Sure Ten Kids Have a Merry Christmas!

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As the holidays approach, we think it is important to take a minute out of our busy schedules with family and work to give back.  We are all blessed in so many ways that it is important to remember those less fortunate.  We have a special place in our hearts for children in tough situations, so we do our best to make a difference for kids.

Each year, we partner with a not-for-profit that helps children.  This year, we have partnered with KVC to adopt ten children that normally would not receive presents for Christmas.  KVC Kansas is a private child welfare provider to Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) of Kansas. In addition, we provide a wide array of services for children and families throughout the state including foster care, adoption, outpatient and inpatient behavioral health care.

The fun begins with an all-hands-on-deck meeting at Wal-Mart where our Home Rental Services team runs around filling shopping carts with things from the wish lists of the kids.  After the shopping is done, we go to dinner together.  This year, we all went to Cinzetti’s on Metcalf and enjoyed some great Italian food together.  After the presents are bought, we set aside a morning to wrap them together in our office at College and Metcalf.

The end result is that we are making a difference for some kids that need to be reminded that they are loved.  It is a team building experience for everyone that works at Home Rental Services.  It is also a great reminder to have perspective as the year comes to an end.  It isn’t all about presents and parties.

Tell us your stories of giving back or helping kids this holidays season in the comment section below!

Happy Thanksgiving from Home Rental Services!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Home Rental Services!  It is that time of year when we take a moment to think about all we are thankful for.  We believe that people and relationships are the most valuable things to appreciate.  Family, friends, owners, renters, vendors and more.  These relationships impact us all year long and we are so thankful for the thousands of people in our lives.  If you are reading this post, we are thankful for you because of your relationship with Home Rental Services!

In the office, we are taking a moment to celebrate our team.  We are sharing pies and tons of cookies in true office party style!  We started updating the staff profiles on our web site today as well, and it is fun to see how we have gotten to where we are today.  We appreciate the talented and driven group of people that make up our staff.

For the Kansas City community, we have adopted ten children in need for the holidays.  We are partnering with KVC Kansas again this year.   We are going shopping together this evening to make sure each child has a bunch of things from their lists that will make them smile.  We have wish lists from each of the children and we break up into teams and shop like crazy for two hours to get everything purchased.  We will post more about this with pictures soon!

Managing Your Thermostat – Never Turn It Off!

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We are writing this post as a public service announcement.  It is the direct result of something that happened with one of our owners recently.  The owner was moving out of their current home and we had a contract for a renter.  The owner assumed that the move in date was going to happen within a week but in reality, the move  in date was scheduled for 3 weeks later.  (We had told the owner in email and in the contract when the move in date was going to occur)

The owner turned the thermostat off completely.  We have been having 100+ degree days for the past few weeks and the home got incredibly hot.  Mold likes to grow in dark, enclosed spaces with a water source… so guess what happened?  Mold started growing under the sink in the kitchen.  This is going to cost the owner hundreds of dollars for remediation and could have easily been avoided by leaving the thermostat on to keep the house at a reasonable temperature.

So the public service announcement is:
Don’t ever turn off your thermostat completely off, no matter what time of year.  The risks for damage to your home are too great.

Instead, adjust your thermostat appropriately if you are going to leave for any extended period of time.

Finding and setting the optimal temperature on your thermostat takes trial and error.
Taking the time to get it right will save you money!

In the winter set your thermostat no higher than 68 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is of course only a guideline. If you have a personal preference to higher temperatures, live in a particularly extreme climate or have a medical condition, adjust accordingly.

In the summer or warmer months, we recommend you set your thermostat no lower than 73 – 78 degrees.

Remember, little adjustments in temperature really do make a difference! For example, lowering the temperature by one single degree in the winter has the potential to save you about 3% on your heating bill! And lowering the temperature from 70 to 64 for 8 hours a day in the winter can potentially save you around 10% on your heating bill!

We highly recommend a programmable thermostat.  You can easily program these thermostats to adjust the temperature automatically for the hours you are away at work. No one is home, so the thermostat doesn’t need to maintain a higher or lower temperature.  It can then kick back prior to you getting home so that when you walk in the door you feel comfortable.

If you go on vacations, make sure to take into account the fact that no one will be around. Again, don’t ever shut off the thermostat entirely!

Turning down the thermostat too low in the winter can actually make your furnace work harder and increase your costs since the house and furniture in it will need to be reheated as well as the air. Additionally, turning down the temperature too low may allow the water pipes in your home to freeze.  An incredible amount of damage can be done if your pipes freeze, so saving a few dollars in a given month is not worth the risk.

If you have any advice or suggestions related to managing the thermostat in your home, please comment!  We would love to hear from you.

Paul Volunteers to Assist with Joplin Tornado Cleanup Efforts

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We appreciate our team at Home Rental Services. Everyone works hard to make our Owners and Renters happy.  We are also proud to see them go above and beyond when giving back to the community.

Paul is a Property Manager for Home Rental Services.  Recently, Paul volunteered a day of his time to go to Joplin to help with the cleanup efforts.  He went with his church, Garnett Nazarene, part of a larger group of Nazarene churches representing almost 600 people that volunteered to help.  The pictures below include one of the houses that Paul’s team worked on… there is a before and after picture.  It took them almost two hours to clear the brush in just one yard.

The other pictures give you a sense of the damage that was done.  The crushed fire truck.  The hospital full of holes.  A red sports car crushed by a tree.  Paul took dozens of pictures because you rarely see this kind of damage.  There were 2×4 boards stuck into the sides of stores that had been blowing around before being embedded like an arrow.  Gigantic trees that had been standing for decades completely uprooted, leaving a hole full of water.

When something of this magnitude happens, especially so close to home, it is important to do what you can to help your neighbor.  Paul demonstrated that in his volunteer efforts.  We appreciate that Paul has taken action instead of thinking about all the reasons why he might not have time to help.  If you would like to help, whether it is monetary or physical labor, there are a ton of ways you can get involved.  The Kansas City Star has a great article on specific ways you can help.

Click on any of the pictures below to view the larger version:

Home Rental Services supports Ronald McDonald Fundraiser

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On Saturday, May 7th, Kandy, Tom and Jason represented Home Rental Services by going to the Ronald McDonald Fundraiser at the Ronald McDonald house on Cherry Street in downtown Kansas City.  We partner with our locksmith and collect keys to donate to the annual fundraiser.  In our daily business, we generate quite a few keys when we re-key houses for new tenants.  We save each and every one knowing that they will help the Ronald McDonald house.

Tom, Kandy and Jason - Pouring Out Our Keys

Some Aluminum Fencing as Well!

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families by providing a “home away from home” for families traveling to Kansas City for their child’s medical care. On any given night, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City serves 67 families. Annually, their Houses and Family Room provide lodging to nearly 6,000 families as well as open our doors to support over 41,000 visits from family and friends of in-patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  It takes a lot of money to make this happen.

Thousands of Pounds of Tabs

Local Firemen

An important source of funding for the Ronald McDonald house is the collection of pop can tabs and brass keys.  The pop can tabs have a high percentage of aluminum and are worth more as scrap than the rest of an aluminum can.  The brass keys are valuable as well for scrap.  Ronald McDonald house works with a local scrap metal company to convert the tabs and keys to cash to support their programs and services.

Police SWAT Team

Jason Trying to Look Tough and Failing

They closed off their parking lot for the event and had firemen, a police swat team, tons of activities for kids and free ice cream.  Jason had to get behind a riot shield for a photo op!  We had a blast participating.  It was obvious that the amount of donations of pop tabs and brass keys for scrap metal were going to generate a lot of money for the Ronald McDonald house.  This might be something you consider doing in your office, school or church!  Let us know any stories you have about collecting pop tabs or brass keys for the Ronald McDonald house by replying to this post!