|
|
Examiner
  • One item, one day at a time, volunteer stocks CSL pantry

  • Melodie Chrisman knows that she cannot change the world.



    “But I can make a difference,” said Chrisman, a longtime Blue Springs resident. “I just had to try and figure out a way to do it.”

    • email print
  • Melodie Chrisman knows that she cannot change the world.
    “But I can make a difference,” said Chrisman, a longtime Blue Springs resident. “I just had to try and figure out a way to do it.”
    While attending a Citizen’s Police Academy Class in Blue Springs two years ago, Chrisman met Donnie Cosentino, whose family members own Price Chopper stores in Eastern Jackson County.
    “Price Chopper and Donnie are big Harvesters (the Community Food Network) supporters, and we go to talking about the need for food in Blue Springs,” Chrisman said. “Donnie turned out to be my angel.”
    Their conversation had a profound impact on Chrisman, so she went home and contacted Debbie Brenner at the Blue Springs Community Services League.
    “I was shocked when I found out how many homeless people there are in Blue Springs, especially children,” Chrisman said. “Debbie told me that they always need food, especially food that doesn’t spoil – that has a long shelf life – so if a needy family shows up, they can help them immediately.”
    Chrisman contacted the north and south Price Chopper stores on Missouri 7 in Blue Springs and asked if she could come up one Saturday a month.
    “I got two barrels, made my little homemade signs and homemade shopping lists,” she said, “and I asked if it would be all right to come to a store, one Saturday a month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I am usually with some volunteers and we stop shoppers and ask them if they would like to use our list to pick up some items for the Community Services League.
    “Some don’t want to get involved, but the number who do is amazing. We usually leave with three or four pickup truck beds full of groceries – and we go from Price Chopper to the Community Services League.”
    Brenner said the food has been a huge boon to the program.
    “Melodie is amazing,” Brenner said. “First of all, she is so consistent. We know that one day a month she is going to bring us a lot of food – and it’s going to be fresh, with a good date on the label.
    “What she does is so important, but it’s also so simple. One day a month she recruits people to go with her to Price Chopper and they ask shoppers – who are already there shopping for themselves and their families – to get a few extra items for us.
    “It’s amazing how one person can make such a difference for so many people in her community.”
    Chrisman – whose son, Jordan, won the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award given to the top lineman or linebacker in the Kansas City metro area while playing for Blue Springs – is always looking for volunteers. A local 4-H Club is volunteering this month.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I’d like to get some high school kids to volunteer because the hours can go towards their community service hours,” Chrisman said. “When you do something like this, it just makes you feel good. Sometimes, you get a hug and you get a lot of thank yous.”
    If anyone would like to find out more about the Blue Springs Community Services League, or any of the leagues around Eastern Jackson County, call the Independence Community Services League, which has the only 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. staffed office, at 816-254-4100.
     

      calendar