CEO's Blog: CSL Helps Steward Neighborhood Dinner
A decade ago, Betty Snapp, who has been involved in countless "do-good" missions over the years, including her role as founder of Sunshine Center, had a calling. That calling landed her in her kitchen, cooking food for those that needed a meal and camaraderie. From her kitchen, the meal grew into the Stone Church Neighborhood Dinner. Her husband, Terry, was right beside her as their vision became reality.

The Stone Church Neighborhood Dinner is held in the fellowship hall of Stone Church Community of Christ, where the Snapps attend...  Read the rest of this blog
We Remember the Life of Judge Jack Gant
Judge Jack Gant, CSL Board Member Emeritus, passed away on December 23, 2018. Judge Gant leaves behind a legacy of support for Independence and Eastern Jackson County. CSL is grateful for the decades he spent involved with our organization. According to President & CEO Doug Cowan, "Jack had a special affinity for Northwest Independence and the Fairmount community where he spent much of his life. He and his wife, Beverly, remitted a gift to help families at Christmas less than a week before his passing, showing that helping others was always on Jack's mind."

A visitation for Judge Gant will be held today, Friday, January 4, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Blue Springs campus at 4500 Little Blue Parkway, Independence, MO 64057 (former Tri-City campus). The funeral service is at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, at the same location.

Read more about Jack's life:

"Jack Gant Remembered for Service"

"Longtime Local Leader Jack Gant, 90, Dies"

"Jack Gant, a Longtime Jackson County Judge and State Senator, Dies"
You Met the Challenge!
We came to you a few weeks ago with a challenge. A challenge to make sure CSL had the ability to do the most good in our community. Five anonymous donors agreed to match your gifts, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000.

Well, you exceeded all the Christmas Matching Challenge expectations by contributing $142,070! On behalf of the families we serve, we'd like to thank you for giving so generously during the Christmas season!
New Board Officers Installed
CSL is grateful for its volunteer board leadership. The board provides strategic direction for the organization, in order to maximize community impact. Additionally, the board serves as a the fiduciary agent for the organization, and ensures we are stewarding gifts correctly. We would like to extend a special thanks to outgoing Board Chair, Dr. Cathi Cackler-Veazey, for her two years of service as Chair! The following have been elected to officer positions for 2019:

Sonci Bleckinger - Chair
Karen Schuler - Vice Chair
Jeff Benson - Treasurer
Merideth Parrish - Secretary
Cathi Cackler-Veazey - Past Chair

Read a complete listing of board members.
Thank You 2018 Corporate Sponsors
We want to thank all of our donors including our 2018 year-long Corporate Sponsors one last time! Their ongoing support was critical in our mission to help our neighbors in need and we appreciate them very much!  2018 year-long Corporate Sponsors were:

Centerpoint Medical Center; Central Bank of the Midwest; Comcast; Commerce Bank/Commerce Bank Mortgage; Edward Jones; Foster Dental Care; GEHA; Hartsook Companies, Inc.; JE Dunn; St. Mary's Medical Center; and Stewardship Capital.

Interested in becoming a CSL year-long sponsor? Check out our 2019 Sponsorship opportunities or contact Dena Morrison, Special Events Manager, at morrisond@cslcares.org or (816) 912-4485.
Thank You, Christmas Store Volunteers!
Volunteer staff are the lifeblood of CSL. Collectively CSL volunteers save the organization more than $1,000,000 annually by giving of their time at our  locations and helping us best serve our neighbors.

CSL hosted Christmas Stores at its Blue Springs, Fairmount, Grain Valley, Independence (Noland Road, 39th Street, and Hawthorne Place locations all combined into one store), and Oak Grove offices during December.

Pictured to the right are (L to R) Martha Waits, Lisa Freberg, and Nancy Martin. This trio leads our Noland Road Christmas Store, and they are three of more than 300 volunteers that gave help at one of CSL's Christmas Stores. More than 2,500 of our neighbor families received assistance, and CSL, because of you, provided more than 10,000 Christmas gifts and 2,500 meal baskets! If you're inspired by these volunteers, and made a New Year's resolution to volunteer more in 2019,  follow their lead by volunteering at your local CSL today
CSL Again Named 4-Star Charity!
We are pleased to announce that as of December 1, 2018, Community Services League is rated a 4-Star Charity by  Charity Navigator for the third year in a row ! A 4-Star rating is the highest award given by Charity Navigator, who is America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. CSL received this award based on our fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. We are ranked higher than 75% of the charities reviewed by Charity Navigator. ( Click here to read a letter from the CEO of Charity Navigator .)

You can view our 4-Star rating, which incorporates data from CSL's Form 990, filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service.  "Our donors, through their contributions of time, talent, and treasure, are the reason this organization is able to sustain itself, and our staff and board of directors work diligently every day to be good caretakers of those gifts," said Doug Cowan, CSL's President & CEO.
Did You Resolve to Volunteer this Year?
Volunteers Needed for the 2019 Tax Season!

Each year, CSL serves hundreds of clients by providing a free tax preparation service through the  Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Individuals and families making $60,000 or less are eligible to use this service. Last year, 294 returns were prepared resulting in nearly  $300,000 in refunds  thanks to the hard work of volunteers.

As we begin to prepare for the 2019 tax season, CSL's Financial Coaching team needs your help! If you're interested in learning more about volunteering, please contact Rachel Barker, Vice President of Financial Coaching. You can volunteer to serve as a tax preparer (in-person or virtually), greeter, or intake specialist! Training is provided to all participants.

Are you interested in other volunteer opportunities at CSL? Contact our volunteer desk today!
Save-the-Date for 2019 Events

For more information, contact Dena Morrison, Special Events Manager, at morrisond@cslcares.org or (816) 912-4485.   

Love good music? You won't want to miss this! The  Kansas City Metro Men's Chorus  is presenting two fantastic concerts in March - the first benefitting CSL Scholars and the second benefitting the Stone Church Neighborhood Dinner, which has recently become part of the CSL family of services. The first concert will be on Sunday, March 3rd, 4:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Catholic Church, Independence, and the second will be on Sunday, March 17th, 4:00 p.m. at The Stone Church, Independence.

Plan now to come out for one (or both!) of them!  There is no charge for admittance - a free-will offering will be taken.  
Saturday, August 24, 2019  marks the date for the  10th annual event presented by the Coalition of Women Helping Children. This year's  Fashion Show and Brunch  will again be  presented by St. Mary's Medical Center  and hosted at the Adam's Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs.
On  Monday, September 23, 2019,  CSL will host the sixth annual  CSL Golf Classic presented by Central Bank , at  Winterstone Golf Course in Independence! Last year's event was a sell-out so save-the-date to join us for what promises to be a spectacular day of golf and support for CSL.
Interested in sponsoring a specific event in 2019, or supporting CSL throughout the year? Contact us today for a customized sponsorship package.

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