VFW Auxiliary raises money to build a ‘tiny’ home

rpulley@lsjournal.comMarch 15, 2017 

In only months, the Lee’s Summit Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5789 Auxiliary raised $10,000 to sponsor a tiny house for the Veterans Community Project in Kansas City.

Recently the group presented a check to the project, which was formed to help homeless veterans in Kansas City.

Bryan Meyer, co-founder and chief legal officer for the project, accepted the check at an awards luncheon March 5.

He said the project has 10 tiny houses in various phases of construction, and they will be placed in a village on about four acres at 89th Street and Troost Avenue.

The project is raising money for the utilities and infrastructure to support the village, Meyer said. The cost would be nearly $1.1 million, but by making in-kind donations for the village, Kissick Construction is dropping that price dramatically, he said. That construction is to begin around May 1 and be complete in the fall, when the village would move in its first 10 veterans.

The ultimate plan is to have 50 individual homes for veterans, but they want to start gradually because they also will be providing social services, Meyer said. By building tiny houses, the project will give the veterans privacy. More information about the project is at www.veteranscommunityproject.org.

Meyer said he was thankful for the Lee’s Summit VFW and all the other VFWs.

“The response for this project has been humbling and overwhelming,” Meyer said.

The founders and leaders of the group are themselves veterans.

Auxiliary President Paula McKinley said the group’s donation, as a sponsor, is enough to build and furnish one house.

To raise the money, the Auxiliary sponsored a golf tournament, dinners, bake sales, quilt raffles and other events.

“Things we threw out there and worked at until we got the money,” she said.

Sue Lewis, chairwoman of family support for the auxiliary, said she became involved with the auxiliary after her husband died about a year ago. She said the project was something he would want her to do because her father was a World War II veteran, her husband a Vietnam veteran and her son served in the military. She suggested it to the other members.

Now the group plans to continue raising money to support the village.

She said she and other members were proud of their accomplishment. When they started they wondered if they could raise enough money for the sponsorship, but were determined, she said.

A donor put the fundraiser over the top, with the condition that the gift be anonymous.

“I had to shed a couple of tears when we got the final $400,” Lewis said.

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