Gifts not Under the Tree


Addis Sharpe, Business Manager

During the holiday time the focus can turn to receiving rather than giving. Organizations during this time of the year especially can use some help.

One organization, The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, focuses on the lives of cats and dogs in the Greater Kansas City area. During the holiday season the organization collects items for their Holiday Wish List to help the dogs and cats in the shelter. Items such as dog and cat beds, birdseed, and food bowls are all needed.

Another organization Unbound helps people in poverty of all ages stand on their own. Created by five individuals in Kansas City, people can now sponsor someone from one in 87 countries.

“Unbound offers a personalized approach to our work – not every family has the same exact challenges, so why should we expect them to have the same exact solutions?” the director of the outreach Andrew Kling said.

Kling highly recommends that students get involved.

“Students should get involved because this is real. I’ve learned that each of us is one choice away from changing someone’s world,” Kling said.

Unbounds impact reaches far and is the highest-rated child sponsorship organization in the United States according to top charity navigator sites – more than 92% of expenditures go to program support.

“I’ve walked with kids on the same roads they use to get to school; I’ve met them in their homes, and each time I do, I am struck by how remarkably gifted they are – how much better the world will be if they can achieve their dreams. I’ve seen the difference that small choices made far away can make for a young person – this work really does change lives,” Kling said.

Seniors Emma Gordon and Shelby Cope volunteer in their free time. Cope volunteers many places, but mostly through her church, by helping out the older community and going on mission trips. Last summer, she volunteered through the school district to serve breakfast to the kids who went to summer school. She also volunteers through school activities including orchestra and art.

“It is a really good way to help the community and you can apply for the Presidential Award if you have enough hours. It looks really good on college applications,” Cope said.

Gordon volunteers at her church, Colonial Presbyterian Church, and she sings in the adult worship and youth band.

“I volunteer to share my gift of music with everyone,” Gordon said.

She enjoys sharing her gift and invites others to also give back.

“Volunteering is definitely something I recommend; it’s a great way to help your community and give yourself a bit more happiness. When someone thanks you for giving your time, even when it barely meant anything to you, it really makes a difference in your life and in many others lives,” Gordon said.

The holiday season is full of chances to give back to the community. Many churches have programs like Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree Salvation, and One Less Gift.


Little Ways to Bring a Smile during this Holiday Season

  • Hand write a letter to someone
  • Collect cans for a local can drive
  • Call a friend
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Compliment someone
  • Rake the neighbors’ leaves


Contact Information


1 Elmwood Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66103




The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City

5445 Parallel Parkway

Kansas City, Kansas 66104



Christmas Programs Website

Operation Christmas Child®


Addis Sharpe // Business Manager