Community Services League volunteers, donors and advocates were recognized this past Saturday for their outstanding commitment to further CSL’s mission of lifting people in the community to economic stability. 

The 2nd annual Champion of Hope Awards were presented at CSL’s 17th annual Fall Into Hope Gala, a seasonal benefit for CSL.

Six local individuals and a church were honored at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence on Nov. 15.

The 2014 Champions of Hope Honorees include: 

Jim and Becky Farrow - The day before the Farrows received their award marked exactly 24 years since they made their first contribution to CSL. Over the years, both Jim and Becky have made at least 466 donations of food, more than any other contributor in CSL history. 

Betty Bolles - Bolles originally got involved with CSL’s 39th Street Office when she used to be a member of the now-closed Abiding Savior Lutheran Church. Since her start as a volunteer, her role in feeding the hungry substantially increased. Betty took a majority of CSL’s food ordering, mainly through Harvesters. She also has helped CSL move into their new 39th Street operation at Christ United Methodist Chruch and continues to remain actively involved with the service’s food distribution program, despite her family moving to Kearney. 

Community of Christ-Central USA Mission Center - In honor of local Community of Christ congregations and the Central USA Mission Center’s local efforts, the church’s program took a proactive effort among its 30-plus Eastern Jackson County congregations by combining funds and food purchases for CSL annually. Over $412,000 has been donated by the Mission Center to date. This amount also does not reflect the additional amount of food and extra money donated by the congregations’ individual efforts, either. Collectively, the Mission Center and church members have given more than a half-million dollars to alleviate hunger. 

Mac and Liz McLeod - The McLeods work as full-time volunteer site managers at CSL’s Fairmount Office. For nearly 20 years, both Mac and Liz have devoted their retirement years to feeding an entire community through countless food drives, trips to food banks and grocery store runs. While doing so, they carried out the same tasks as paid employees, implementing a wide range of services to move clients to economic stability. 

Preston Smith - Blue Springs South High School student Preston Smith has volunteered for CSL’s Blue Springs office community-wide food drives over the last two years. He also runs all aspects of the food drives and schedules volunteers for monthly efforts. Smith’s commitment to CSL has rallied other young people to assist as well. His coordinated efforts provide food to CSL’s Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove and Buckner locations.