On Friday morning, a man came into the Blue Springs office of the Community Services League. He was looking for help getting back on his feet.

He was feeling down, said the site manager, Melodie Chrisman, “but when he left he was so happy because we were so giving and caring.”

That man will be among the 200 to 250 individuals and families served this month by the Blue Springs office.

“We’re very busy,” Chrisman said.

The Community Services League, which this week turned 100 years old, has services that include food shelves, help with utilities, work-readiness training and financial counseling. The Blue Springs office, for example, will give out 350 backpacks of school supplies later this summer, and it serves 600 people with its Christmas store, from which families leave with a gift for everyone – right down to the wrapping – stockings and a holiday meal.

The group has been holding open houses all week at its seven main locations. At mid-day Friday, there was one in Blue Springs. Chrisman – who also oversees the site coordinators in Grain Valley, Oak Grove and Buckner – said the work of volunteers, or “non-paid staff,” is crucial.

And others applauded Chrisman for her work.

“She’s been great, because she keeps the Community Services League alive,” Mayor Carson Ross said.

State Rep. Jeanie Lauer added, “This is her passion. This is not a job to her.”