We all meet people in our lives that have a profound impact. I will never forget the first time I met Evelyn VanKemseke at the Shawnee Community Services while participating in the Shawnee Leadership Program in 2005.
I knew the instant I met her and saw how she and her staff were serving those less fortunate, that this person and place were special and I wanted to be a part of it.
To really appreciate what the Shawnee Community Center does you had to see firsthand where they were operating from.
The 1,000 square foot old convenience store just West of Neiman on 67th Street in Shawnee looked unsafe to even walk into. Yet when you got inside and met Evelyn, you would have thought she had won the lottery. This petite woman, with a smile on her face from ear to ear, was so eager and excited to speak to our class.
She talked about the many programs that Shawnee Community Services has to help people who need food, clothing, shelter and assistance. I remember her pointing to the empty field next door and gushing about the new building she hoped to build some day.
I thought “What a pipe dream.” but boy I was wrong! I was moved to help by the persuasion and passion Evelyn has for those in need.
Since 2005, Shawnee Community Services has been a special place that we’ve supported. We’ve played a small part in helping them grow into their new 10,000 square foot facility and that’s really made an impact on the community they serve.
A salute and thank you to Evelyn VanKemseke, Sylvia Terry and Marlisa VanKemseke for the wonderful work and care you give to so many.
If you would like to support Shawnee Community Services, please visit www.scsks.org. As an added incentive to give to a good cause, Straub Construction Company will match donations up to a combined total of $2,000.