Help House News: Year in review – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Help House News: Year in review

By Raylene Quaney

The 2015 year in review was presented to the Help House board of directors during their meeting on Jan. 12, by director Pam Bilyeu. It was an exciting year with several new programs, services and awards received.

The number of households in Osage County receiving emergency food assistance has increased from 523 in 2014 to 588 in 2015. The total number of individuals receiving food in 2015 totaled 1,544. The total cost of food purchased for the pantry totaled $26,283.59. United Way funds received in 2015 to assist with the purchase of food totaled $14,620.

The total number of households served during 2015 by zip code: (69) 66413, (40) 66414, (52) 66451, (41) 66510, (3) 66511, (188) 66523, (31) 66524, (73) 66528, (25) 66537, (28) 66543, (5) 66856. This is an increase of 69 households from 2014.

Class offered on good sense budgeting

The “Good Sense Budget Course” will again be held on Monday, Feb. 15 and 22, with a Tuesday class held on the Feb. 16 and 23. The morning session is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The evening class will be from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.  You must attend either both Monday sessions, or Tuesday sessions to complete the course. Once the course is completed, you will be eligible to apply for assistance to help with heating or cooling cost. Assistance is provided on limited basis for any heating source, whether it is gas, electric or wood.

You must come in to Help House to pre-register and pick up an information packet, which includes pre-course work to be completed before the first class. You may call 785-828-4888 with any questions.

Seven “Good Sense” budget classes were held in 2015 with 38 participants completing the course, of those 31 received assistance, with a total of $4,537 paid out on their behalf, an average of $146 each.

Holiday donations

The holiday season is always super busy. In November, Pam along with a  couple of volunteers traveled to Arrowhead Stadium to pick up a donation of several boxes of chicken from the Chiefs and Tyson that is distributed each year to non-profit agencies. Help House has been receiving this generous donation for nearly 10 years.

For Thanksgiving, 64 food boxes with either a turkey or a chicken included were given out to those who had signed up. At Christmas an additional 64 food boxes were given out. Those signing up could choose whether to receive their box at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

During the Christmas holidays there were 69 children that shopped for their parents or guardians at the Christmas store set up just for them. Santa’s elves wrapped each gift for them to take home. Then volunteers restocked the store with donated toys and games, clothing, hats and gloves. Fifty-nine parents or guardians were allowed to choose one or two items for each child in the home. All were cross referenced with ECAT and ECKAN to ensure need.

The Salvation Army donation envelopes placed in the Herald Chronicle during the Christmas season brought in $760, which will stay in Osage County. These funds are distributed through Help House as a representative of the Salvation Army.

Fundraising committee formed

A fundraising committee is being formed for the New Year. There will be a number of new fun and exciting events held this year. Donations from communities, businesses, school groups, individuals and other organizations is  the only funding that Help House receives other than from the United Way, which helps to support the food pantry.

Souper Bowl Soup-a-Thon

It is time for the Souper Bowl Soup-a-Thon. The challenge goes out to any church, group, or organization to see who can collect the most number of CANS of soup between now and Feb. 5 before the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Last year’s winner was Vassar United Methodist Church with 106 cans donated. So start collecting now to be the winner this year.

Items needed

Household items are in need at Help House at this time. We would like to thank the Cory Sprecker family and friends for the donation of 427 food items and 552 non-food items from the Corey Sprecker Christmas Stocking.

For more information, contact Help House at 785-828-4888, email [email protected], visit, like Osage-County-Help-House on Facebook, or stop by Help House at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon.

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