As businesses begin to reopen, a Northland nonprofit is still deciding when to open its store. Assistance League of Kansas City is mostly funded by The Resale Shop, a secondhand store in Gladstone. It’s had to close because of the pandemic, but the group is still helping people in need across the metro. “Our mission is to help people and we want to continue that,” said Debbie Sobba, an Assistance League member.
The nonprofit’s usual programs like Operation School Bell®, which provides clothes to students in need, are on hold. “Normally, they would be shopping. They would be inventorying, putting all those kinds of things together, and that’s not an option for us right now,” Sobba said. So, they’re getting creative.
“The first thing that we did is, went to our members and said, ‘OK, we know we want to participate in the community, what can we do?'” Sobba said. The first idea was a drive-by food drive. “They showed up here in their cars. Drove through. We picked up the goods out of their cars,” Sobba said.
They also got cash donations. “We had $6,000 in donations, and then we turned those $6,000 in donations around and gave them to Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter and Feed Northland Kids,” she said. Assistance League is also donating books for students and making masks. “We have the Assistance League of Kansas City Masked Bandits,” Sobba said.
The group is still deciding when and how The Resale Shop will reopen. “Currently, they’re putting up the shields around the cash registers. We’re going to have hand sanitizers,” she said.