Overland Park public works director’s daughter collects nearly 600 items, donated to Operation Breakthrough

Overland Park Public Works Director Tony Hofmann's daughter organized a collection of almost 600 items for Operation Breakthrough. Photo courtesy of Overland Park.

Despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, community members are stepping up to help one another day in and day out.

Overland Park Public Works Director Tony Hofmann’s daughter, 17-year-old Abby Hofmann, organized a donation that resulted in almost 600 items for Operation Breakthrough Kansas City, a nonprofit organization that provides a “nurturing safe environment for children of the working poor.” Tony said his wife and kids have been engaged with Operation Breakthrough for a while, and Abby saw an opportunity to help.

“[She saw] things are kind of tough out there, [and she thought] let’s do a neighborhood drive with respect to gathering goods for one of the local entities that will put it to good use,” Tony said. “She really just took the initiative.”

Tony realized Abby started the collection drive once neighbors began bringing over essential goods to their house, he said. Abby had used an online neighborhood group to get the word out, and Tony helped by asking essential workers still physically showing up to work at Overland Park if they might be interested in helping out, too.

Nearly 600 items were collected and donated over a week-and-a-half time period, Tony said. Requested donation items were based on Operation Breakthrough’s online list of goods that families need the most including toilet paper, hand and dish soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, women’s deodorant and diapers. A full list of donation items can be found here, though the best way to donate to Operation Breakthrough is financially, according to the website.

The city of Overland Park compiled a list of food and giving resources for the community to seek out or donate to during the coronavirus pandemic. Food resources include Harvesters website and a Johnson County food pantry list, while giving resources include Johnson County Human Services’ food pantry Amazon wishlist. A full list of resources can be found here.