Charity Brings Holiday Joy

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The Warm House ended a successful year of serving the community by preparing 100 Christmas baskets and turkeys for thankful residents. They were handed out on Friday, December 14 with all the fixins for Christmas dinner plus extras. Shoppers at the Warm House Thrift store also benefitted from Christmas sales throughout December on décor, toys and clothing. This year’s funds for the baskets were provided from the Turkey-Trot, Faith Lutheran Church and the Salvation Army. 
During the three days a week that the Warm House is open in Warsaw, hardly a day goes by without people being helped with energy assistance, emergency food, referral to county resources, and more. When a local resident loses a home, job or has a change in family situation, the volunteers put their heads together to come up with a plan for assistance.  
The Warm House is a Christian-based thrift store located at 100 Longview Terrace that has been serving Warsaw since the early 1990s. It moved to its present location in 2013 and has a base of customers who wait patiently in the mornings for the store to open so they can rush in and see what is on sale. The store has a reputation for having clean, working items at very reasonable, sometimes ridiculously low prices, and the inventory changes frequently. Some of the items for sale include collectibles and clothing that is brand new with tags still attached.
Linda Sinnett, Warm House Board member, said that the Warm House is pretty well known because it receives clothing donations from places such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Lee Summit and Raymore.
Over the years, sales from the thrift store, plus donations from individuals and churches have contributed to expansion of services to the community. During 2018, through the month of November, the Warm House Board has been able to offer $27,225 in energy assistance, $6,000 in scholarships (three high schools), $3,000 to Benton County Cancer, $3,000 to Benton County Hospice, $2,000 to Start Smart, $500 for disabled adults to go to summer camp, $575 for John Boise Middle School hygiene kits, $400 for lice shampoo with hats and gloves to five elementary schools, $100 to Head Start, $400 to the Benton County Youth Coalition, and $575 to South Elementary School for iPads to be used in the classroom.
“Together we can have an even bigger 2019,” said Sinnett. “We are grateful to The Share of The Harvest, local churches and other organizations that help keep our emergency food pantry stocked for those in need. Thanks to you all for your donations that make a difference in our community. There are other thrift shops in the area including Thrift-4-Life, Christian Outreach and PALS that continue to need your support and volunteers.”
Larry Konopasek is Warm House president of the Board, and there are 27 to 30 volunteers. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Any one requesting assistance needs to apply before 2 PM. For information, to donate or volunteer, contact the Warm House at 660-438-5633.