Leawood Rotarian organizes donations for St. Joseph Medical Center workers in need

Members of The Rotary Club of Leawood donated an estimated $1,000 worth of essential goods to St. Joseph Medical Center workers in need. From left to right: Martha Robinson; Rotary President Rick Robinson; Rotarian and Councilmember Chuck Sipple (back); Rotarian and organizer Mary Reed; St. Joseph CEO Jodi Fincher; former Rotary president Chuck Udell; and Director of Marketing Ericka Beeler. Photo courtesy of Mary Reed.

When Leawood Rotarian Mary Reed heard that St. Joseph Medical Center employees who had their hours cut were in need — from fellow Leawood Rotarian and Chief Executive Officer Jodi Fincher — she organized a food collection drive within the organization to help out.

Last week, Reed held the food drive for three days on her front porch, allowing Rotarians, their friends and family, and her neighbors to drop off essential goods for St. Joseph employees. St. Joseph is a large sponsor of the Rotary Club’s annual 5K fundraiser, and as a nonprofit professional, Reed said she felt strongly that she wanted to lead this effort to give back to a community she would have never known was in need.

“Since I’m always going with my hands out [asking St. Joseph] to buy a sponsorship, it was my way to give back — I was on the other end of it,” Reed said.

The club and the community made a large turnout: Reed said that her porch filled up with goods on the first day, and day two and three were no different. Donors raided their own pantries and some took to store aisles for the cause, Reed said. The donation is estimated to have amounted to around $1,000 worth of food, cleaning supplies and paper goods, Reed said.

While giving back to the community is the norm for the Rotary Club, Reed said it is usually in the form of a check. Recently, the club gave a $20,000 check to Catholic Charities and one to the Church of Resurrection to help those impacted by COVID-19, she said.

“The Leawood Rotary is always, quietly doing things like this,” Reed said.

Fincher said St. Joseph Medical Center is “incredibly thankful” for the Leawood Rotarian donation to its employee food drive, as it will help to ensure affected employees are not short on food. Those who wish to participate in the employee food drive can contact Director of Marketing Ericka Beeler at (816) 943-2687.