Editors Note: The Grain Valley Assistance Council joins us as a regular Community Voices contributor. We look forward to updates regarding their work in the community.
by Jerry Vaughan, Grain Valley Assistance Council Board Member
The Grain Valley Assistance Council (GVAC) is a community services organization which was founded in 1994 by a group of concerned citizens. The original purpose of the GVAC was, and continues to be to provide support and counsel to those families and individuals in the Grain Valley community who are less fortunate.
Over 700 families and more than 1,200 children are helped by the GVAC every year. The services provided to our clients are quite varied according to their need, including:
An extensive food pantry (over 30,000 food items given away annually);
Assistance with utility bills and rent payments;
Home delivered meals for elderly, home-bound or disabled clients;
Clothes closet for both youth and adults;
Job counseling and placement assistance;
Referral to other assistance organizations when appropriate.
The GVAC is an affiliate of the Community Services League (CSL), which was founded in 1916 by former First Lady Bess Truman. CSL is both the largest and longest-serving social service provider in the metro area, and serves all of eastern Jackson County through its 15 locations including Grain Valley.
Our affiliation with CSL gives the GVAC and our clients access to many more goods and services, while assuring our supporters that all funds and nearly all donated goods remain IN Grain Valley, FOR Grain Valley.
The GVAC is comprised of a paid Site Manager, who supervises a pool of about 20 dedicated volunteers. The original Site Manager in 1994 was Rowena Via, with Mary Strack serving in that position for many years after.
Our current Site Manager is Donna Compton. Overall guidance is provided by a 20+ Board of Directors, made up of faith, business, education and community leaders from the Grain Valley area.
Our location is 513 Gregg St. in Grain Valley, just around the corner from the Post Office. We are open on Wednesdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm, and our phone number is 816-355-0328.
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